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UPDATE: NB 65 Reopens After Fatal Crash

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10:30am -- All lanes of northbound Interstate 65 just south of of the Lowell/State Road 2 exit have reopened after being closed for more than four hours this morning following a fatal crash near mile marker 238. Indiana State Police say the crash involving two semis and a passenger vehicle happened just after 6:00 A.M. and resulted in the death of one of the drivers. Police say one of the semi’s was on top of the passenger car.
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Back-to-School Immunization Reminder

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Indiana state health officials are reminding parents of new immunization requirements relating to chicken pox.  Here's the information released by the Indiana State Department of Health:
INDIANAPOLIS—With the new school year quickly approaching, State health officials want Indiana parents to be aware of new immunization requirements for school entry. Parents can get immunization records from their health care provider or use the secure website, www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov , to print their child’s official immunization record from home by using personal identification number (PIN).  
For the 2013-2014 school year, all students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade will be required to have a record documenting two valid doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine or documented history of chickenpox disease. Students from kindergarten through fifth grade will need to have their history of chickenpox disease documented by a health care provider.
“We experienced multiple outbreaks of chickenpox around that state during the last school year,” said Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve, M.D. “This new requirement will help stop the spread of this preventable disease and keep kids healthy and in school.”
Although not required for school entry, Dr. Duwve recommends that students also receive the following immunizations if they haven’t already:
·         Two doses of Hepatitis A vaccine
·         Flu vaccine every year
·         Human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine, 3-dose series for all adolescents
·         Booster dose of meningococcal conjugate (meningitis) vaccine for adolescents ages 16-18
 
The requirements and recommendations are in alignment with the routine vaccination schedules from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For a complete listing of all recommended immunizations, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/index.html.
Indiana school immunization requirements are posted on the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at www.state.in.us/isdh/17094.htm .
Hoosiers are encouraged to check their children’s vaccination records on www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov, a  user-friendly website from the Indiana State Department of Health that provides Hoosiers direct access to their immunization records from any computer through the use of a PIN. Many Hoosiers have already utilized this resource. Since MyVaxIndiana was launched in July 2012, nearly 30,000 PINs have been assigned and 4,619 unique records have been accessed from the site. PINs can be obtained from health care providers and used to log in to the secure website. Users can then download, print or fax official records. Each record also displays the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended immunization schedule.
“The goal of the MyVaxIndiana site is to make it easier for all Hoosiers to access their immunization records,” said Dr. Duwve. “Parents can check what immunizations their child has already received and find out what may still be needed, as well as print, fax or email an official copy of the record. Vaccinations reduce the spread of disease and help to keep all of us healthy.”
To learn more about MyVaxIndiana, visit www.MyVaxIndiana.in.gov.
For more information about school immunization requirements, visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at 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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Woman Sentenced in Death of Child

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A 35-year-old Gary woman has been sentenced to thirty years, with five years suspended, in the 2010 death of a five-year-old boy allegedly beaten by his father, the woman's then-boyfriend.. Officials say Rochell Johnson admitted to not helping the boy, about to turn six, and pled guilty to neglect of a dependent. Officials say 31-year-old Leon Burns, facing murder and other charges, is scheduled to appear in court in September.
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One Person Killed in I-65 Crash

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845a-- Indiana State Police say an early morning crash south of Lowell this morning, just after 6:00 A.M. CDT, involving two semis and a passenger vehicle, resulted in the death of one of the drivers.
All lanes of I-65 north bound are closed and traffic is being diverted off at State Road 10 in Demotte/Roselawn. Police say it is not known at this time how long the road will be shut down due to one of the semi’s being on top of the passenger car.
The location of the crash is northbound I-65 at the 238.3 milemarker, which is just south of the Lowell/State Road 2 exit.
Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post are asking drivers to use alternate routes this morning if you are coming north.
Northbound US 231 was slow from Demotte to Hebron with volume diverting around the crash.  Southbound I- 65 also remained slow from Crown Point to DeMotte corridors with roadwork, an earlier semi fire, and congestion from the northbound crash.
Indiana State Police say an earlier semi fire on southbound 65, around 230a, had one lane blocked at mile marker 237; the right side was blocked as crews worked to clear the scene.
[Photo/Indiana State Police]
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Big Delays from I-65 Crash

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815am -- All lanes remain blocked on northbound Interstate 65 with a multi-vehicle crash at mile marker 241, just before State Road 2 in Lowell.  Northbound traffic is being diverted at State Road 10.  Northbound US 231 is slow from Demotte to Hebron with volume diverting around the crash.  Southbound I- 65 remains slow from Crown Point to DeMotte corridors with roadwork, an earlier semi fire, and congestion from the northbound crash. 
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I-65 Near Lowell Blocked

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715am -- Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say they're at the scene of a serious crash, possibly involving one-two semis and passenger car, on northbound Interstate 65. at mile marker 240, just south of Lowell exit State Road 2, all northbound lanes are closed and traffic is being diverted at State Road 10.  No other information was available about the crash.  The accident happened just after 6 am CDT.
Officials say an earlier semi fire on southbound 65,  around 230a,  has one lane blocked at mile marker 237; the right side is blocked as crews continues to clear that scene.
Both of these incidents are north of the Kankakee River.
There is also roadwork at State Road 2 and southbound I-65
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Salad Mix Suspected in Stomach Bug

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The number of cases is edging closer to four-hundred, with four possible in Illinois, but none so far reported in Indiana, in a stomach bug outbreak that's sickened people across fifteen states. Health departments in Nebraska and Iowa are attributing it to a pre-washed mixed salad product that contained iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots, but they're not releasing the name of the product, and say it's no longer on shelves.  Lamar Hasbrouck of the Illinois Department of Public Health explains the rare hazard, described as a tropical stomach bug, is "not a virus, it's not a bacteria, it's a parasite; cyclospora. It's typically in stool, fecal matter."  The Centers for Disease Control says the case count is up to 372, reported by sixteen health departments and NYC: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska,  Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York City, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.
http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/cyclosporiasis/outbreaks/investigation-2013-maps.html
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Equipment Maybe Available Next Week to Check Mt. Baldy

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Equipment to determine why a section of Mt. Baldy collapsed last month burying a six year old Illinois boy might be available next week. Meanwhile, Mt. Baldy beach, trails, and parking area remain closed to the public. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials are looking into the possibility a buried tree may have caused the sand to swallow up the child, who is believed to have survived due to an air pocket. Nathan Woessner was released from a children's hospital on Friday, two-weeks to the day he was buried in the sand for almost four-hours on July 12th.
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Dentist from LaPorte Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 30 year old LaPorte dentist was arrest Monday evening for possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Portage Police report they pulled over Benjamin Porter's vehicle for speeding, after an officer noticed his vehicle weaving through eastbound traffic on I-80, just west of the Portage Toll barrier. Police say Porter reportedly admitted to possessing heroin in his vehicle, after he was informed an officer was en-route with a canine to check his vehicle, after initially denying a search of his vehicle.
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ISP Lowell Post Hiring for Regional Dispatch Operator

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The Indiana State Police Region I Dispatch Center in Lowell is accepting applications for a Telecommunications Operator position.

To qualify, applicants must be high school graduates or possess the equivalent GED and be able to successfully pass written and typing tests (30 words per minute) prior to interviewing. They must also obtain two certifications with the first six months.

Those interested should be able to:

•Work on several tasks simultaneously in a busy and noisy environment
•Remain seated for long periods of time
•Remain calm during emergency situations
•Work rotating or multiple shifts, requiring weekends and/or holidays
Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans, and accrued leave.

PURPOSE:

To serve as a civilian employee of the Indiana State Police whose primary responsibility is to receive, collate, record, disseminate and accurately dispatch information to Department police personnel, other law enforcement agencies and other support services through the use of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, Records Management System (RMS), Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL), Geographical Information System (GIS) and other Regional Dispatch Center resources.

Interested persons must apply online at  http://www.in.gov/spd/2334.htm by 3:30 p.m. Monday, August 5th, 2013.

Applicants must be able to successfully pass a background investigation, and are asked to submit a full work history, copies of high school transcript or GED certificate, and college transcripts, technical certificates and a DD214 (if applicable).
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Judge Ends Indiana's Fight Against Planned Parenthood

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Indiana's two-year legal battle to deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions is over. A judge today issued a permanent injunction barring the state from preventing Medicaid enrollees from accessing health care at clinics operated by the group. In May, the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Indiana regarding the case.
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Wings of Freedom at Porter County Regional Airport

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Mike Prentiss, Valparaiso Tour Stop Coordinator in front of the B-24 Liberator aircraft named "Witchcraft"


The Collings Foundation 24th Annual "Wings of Freedom" tour wraps up it's visit at noon on Wednesday, July 31st at the Porter County Regional Airport just east of State Road 49 and off of US-30 in Valparaiso.


Mike Prentiss, Tour Stop Coordinator for Valparaiso says the mission of the Collings Foundation is to "preserve our history by keeping historic aircraft flying around the country."


Prentiss says that the foundation possess about two dozen aircraft, ranging from the early days of aviation all the way up to the Vietnam era with supersonic jets.  "The most popular aircraft that the foundation operates is the 'WIngs of Freedom Tour' aircraft consisting of the B-17 'Flying Fortess, the B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang."


That particular group of aircraft stops at about 110 cities a year and at each location the foundation offers flight experiences and walk-through tours.  Prentiss says visiting Valparaiso is special as Bob Collings, founder of the foundation is from the Region and graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1956.


The tour's final day for this years visit is from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, after which the "wings of Freedom Tour" lifts off at 1:00 p.m. for a stop in Kankakee, Illinois.


For more information about the Collings Foundation log onto: http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm


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The three WWII era aircraft on the tarmac at Porter County Regional Airport on Tuesday, July 30th from left to right, P--51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortess and B-24 Liberator

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Visitors tour the B-17 Flying Fortress, one of the three WWII era from the Collings Foundation, "Wings of Freedom Tour" at Porter County Regional Airport


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P-51 Mustang WWII era fighter escort looking into the cockpit that features dual flight controls


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B-24 Liberator "Witchcraft" at Porter County Regional Airport, Tuesday, July 30th  


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The 24th Annual "Wings of Freedom Tour" final day in Northwest Indiana is from  9 a.m. to  12 noon, Wednesday, July 31st at the Porter County Regional Airport, Valparaiso.


(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)


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National Sex Trafficking Sting Yields 359 Arrests

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Cook County Sheriff
A coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies led by the Cook County Sheriff's Office wrapped up a sting operation Sunday that led to the arrests of 323 would-be sex solicitors and 36 pimps across 17 states. Sheriff Thomas Dart made the announcement today, stating his department recovered three victims, the most of any jurisdiction, including two juveniles, ages 15 and 17. Other area agencies who participated included the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the Gary Police Department.
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NFIB Says President's Proposal Leaves Out Small Business

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Indianapolis (July 30, 2013) -- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today reacted to news that President Obama would pitch a “grand bargain” with Congress, under which corporate tax cuts would be coupled with federal spending projects as a way to spur economic growth.
“More than ninety percent of employers in Indiana are small businesses and most of them pay the individual income tax,” said NFIB State Director Barbara Quandt.  “We like that the President sees the need to cut business taxes but this proposal would exclude most businesses in Indiana.”
At an event today in Tennessee, the President asked Congress to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent and create a special 25-percent rate for manufacturing.  The United States imposes a higher corporate tax than most of the rest of the world, a burden that many experts believes creates an incentive for corporations to create jobs overseas and keep their profits off shore.
“In the past year there has been a growing consensus in Washington and on Wall Street that we need corporate tax reform,” said Quandt.  “We don’t disagree, but that’s not comprehensive reform.  It helps the biggest, most profitable corporations but it excludes the Main Street businesses that provide a majority of jobs in the United States.”
NFIB last week announced a coalition of business groups focused on reducing the effective tax rate – the amount in taxes that businesses actually pay – instead of the usual debates in Washington over brackets. 
“What we really need is a top-to-bottom overhaul of the entire system to make taxes lower, flatter and fairer,” said Quandt.  “The current system picks winners and losers.  Under the President’s plan, multinational corporations and manufacturers would be winners but most small businesses wouldn’t get relief.  What we need is a climate in which all businesses can grow and create jobs and that means cutting the effective tax rate for everyone.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit www.nfib.com.
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Pence Establishes Office of State-Based Initiatives

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Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis – Among attendees of today’s Evansville Rotary Club luncheon, Governor Mike Pence kicked off “Hoosier Solutions Week” and signed Executive Order 13-20, which transforms the existing Office of Federal Grants and Procurement into the Office of State-Based Initiatives (OSBI).
Governor Pence is spending this week talking to Hoosiers across the state about finding Hoosier solutions to the problems caused by Washington, D.C. and the federal government.  In 2012, the federal government collected $51.2 billion from Hoosier taxpayers and businesses.  This year, forty-nine state departments and agencies will receive almost 20 percent of that money in the form of federal grants, stipends, and programs that often come with expensive, burdensome mandates and regulations that stifle ingenuity, cost Hoosier taxpayers, and hamstring Hoosier businesses.
“I’ve long held the belief that Hoosiers hold the key to releasing Indiana from federally-created mandates and regulations that undermine state sovereignty and hinder economic growth,” said Governor Pence. “With the assistance of the Office of State-Based Initiatives, Indiana will work to untangle itself from burdensome federal policies, seek to increase state innovation, and ultimately strive to persuade the federal government to return to the principles of federalism.”
The OSBI will be tasked with coordinating with state agencies to perform a cost-benefit analysis on every federal grant opportunity; ensuring each agency has a block grant contingency plan; tracking the costs of federal regulations by studying data, surveying businesses, and talking to Hoosiers; and publishing an annual study of these costs and sharing it with Indiana’s Congressional Delegation.
In his speech, Governor Pence said that by quantifying the costs of federal regulations and informing Congress about them, the OSBI “will help, over the long run, reduce federal regulatory burdens on state and local governments, taxpayers and Hoosier businesses.”
Hoosier Solutions Week runs through Thursday, August 1st.
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All Lanes of US 20 near Springville Reopened

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All lanes of US 20 near Springville in LaPorte County have reopened after a fatal three-vehicle crash shut down lanes in both directions east of Michigan City late this morning. Coroner John Sullivan says 75 year old Norma Rauschenbach was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force trauma, after her vehicle was rear-ended while attempting to make a turn from westbound US 20 onto County Road 325 West. Sullivan says the impact pushed Rauschenbach's vehicle into the eastbound lanes where her car was struck by a second vehicle.
Sullivan says that area is along a particularly dangerous stretch of US 20 because there's no divider. The section of US 20, between I-94 and Rolling Prairie, Sullivan says, historically has seen a number of fatal crashes.
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Newspaper Salesman Fatally Shot

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Police in Gary say a 41-year-old newspaper salesman was fatally shot about 5:30 this morning in the area of 15th and Clark Road, and the motive is not known. Public Information Officer Corporal Gabrielle King says Kovin Bell was preparing his newspapers for distribution when a male subject walked up to him and fired a gun then fled on foot.  Anyone with information is asked to call Gary Police Corporal Jeff Horniak at 219-881-7300, ext 3002.  The man's death marks the 33rd apparent homicide in the city this year.
Gary police are also investigating a shooting that killed a 23-year-old Gary man late Saturday night. Reports say the victim identified as Andre Pullen was a passenger in a car when he was fatally struck by a bullet from another vehicle in the 15-hundred block of Chase Street.
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Fatal Crash Closes US 20 in La Porte Co

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A fatal three-vehicle crash has US 20 shut down for the next few hours in both directions near Springville,  east of Michigan City. At about 11am, LaPorte County Coroner John Sullivan says it appears an elderly woman attempting to make a turn from westbound US 20 onto County Road 325 West  in Springfield Township was rear-ended by one vehicle, which pushed her into the eastbound lanes, where her car was struck by a second vehicle, killing her instantly.  Sullivan says that area is along a particularly dangerous stretch of US 20 because there's no divider. The section of US 20, between I-94 and Rolling Prairie, Sullivan says, historically has seen a number of fatal crashes.
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Purdue Hosting Intl Wine Competition

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More than six-thousand bottles of wine from around the world are headed to Indiana. Purdue University is hosting the annual Indy International Wine Competition tomorrow through Friday. The event, now in its 22nd edition and fourth consecutive year on the Purdue campus in West Lafayette, is the nation's largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition. It takes place in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms.
Photo: A ballroom at Memorial Union on Purdue's campus was filled with tables of wine bottles to be judged during the 2010 Indy International Wine Competition. This year's competition is set for July 31 to Aug. 2. (Purdue Agricultural Communication file photo/Tom Campbell)
More info: West Lafayette, Ind. -- More than 6,000 bottles of wine from the United States and around the world are on their way to Purdue University for the annual Indy International Wine Competition July 31 to Aug. 2.
The event, now in its 22nd edition and fourth consecutive year on the Purdue campus, is the nation's largest scientifically organized and independent wine competition. It takes place in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms.
"The prestige of the Indy International continues to grow," said Christian Butzke, professor of enology for the Purdue Wine Grape Team and the competition's chief judge. "The Indy provides competitors with an outstanding gauge of continually evolving trends and preferences among wine consumers throughout the world as well as a direction to use the knowledge gained."
The Purdue Wine Grape Team has put together a panel of 50 judges, selected from among leading winemakers, winegrowers, wine scientists, chefs, sommeliers, wine writers, wine distributors, retailers and consumers. Panel members will critique the more than 2,200 entries and award medals to wines judged superior in their categories.
Major trophies include Wine of the Year, White Wine of the Year, Red Wine of the Year, Sparkling Wine of the Year, Rose Wine of the Year, Dessert Wine of the Year, Winery of the Year and Winemaker of the Year.
The public is invited to witness the judging each day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union ballrooms. The Wine of the Year taste-off on Aug. 2 also is open to the public from 11 a.m. to noon.
Entry information, event history, past winners and more information are available at www.indyinternational.org
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Chamber Staying Neutral on Marriage Amendmnt

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The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is expected to remain neutral on a proposal to amend the state's constitution to ban gay marriage. The president of the group tells the Times today they have members on both sides of the issue, which is expected to be up for debate in the 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/ind-chamber-of-commerce-staying-mum-on-marriage-amendment/article_f87ba7d8-4db8-509e-9b6c-438736c6270e.html
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