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Mayor helps Kick off Free Lunch/Recreation Program

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Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson at the playground with youth
Earlier today, Mayor Freeman-Wilson had lunch at the Glen Ryan Park Pavilion with a group of Gary youth who are participating in the city’s Free Lunch and Recreation Summer Program. The program began today at 12 sites around the city and is being facilitated by the Parks Department and the Youth Services Bureau. In addition to receiving a healthy lunch, youth will participate in recreational and educational activities. After lunch, Freeman-Wilson headed to the playground for a little recreation of her own with the youngsters.
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Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson having lunch with Gary youth
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Group photo of participants with Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson
(photos provided by city of Gary)
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South Shore Line Should be Back to Normal by Wed.

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Service on the South Shore Line should be fully restored by tomorrow.  Damaged equipment found on two train cars apparently damaged the overhead wires west of the East Chicago station, causing delays this afternoon.  John Parsons of NICTD told the Times that there were indefinite delays due to damage to the pantographs--the device atop train cars that touch the wire above bringing power to make the trains move.  Read more about the story at http://www.nwitimes.com
As of 6:05 p.m. CST, NICTD is reporting that they are expecting eastbound rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time (except for EB Train 117) but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary. Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon. Train delays are as follows:
WB Train 20 is 53 minutes late out of Dune Park due to late turn of EB Train 9. It may incur additional delay as it waits for EB trains to clear single track.
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
EB Train 111 is running 25-30 minutes late after waiting for WB Train 218 to clear Track 1.
We expect EB Train 117 to depart Millennium no earlier than 6:10 p.m. waiting for arrival of WB Train 218
We expect delays in departure of EB Train 19 because of delays to WB Train 20.
(Source:  http://www.nictd.com/index.html )
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Schererville Man Gets 4 Years for Burglary Crime

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Lake County Prosecutor Bernard  A. Carter announced today that a Schererville man was sentenced to four years in the Indiana Department of Correction for Burglary, a Class C felony.  
Jimmy Lagat Lopez was charged with entering a Hammond building in June, 2012 and taking two TVs, an XBox 360 and a PlayStation 3. He was ordered to make full restitution to the owner of the building.  Lopez will serve his sentence in the Lake County Community Corrections, according to the county prosecutor's office.
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NICTD: Expect Rush Hour Delays On South Shore Lines

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In a press release from Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route.  All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.  Because of significant wire damage east of East Chicago earlier this afternoon.  Train delays are as follows:
EB Train 109 is 45-60 minutes late waiting for WB trains to clear Track 1
WB Train 20 is 30-45 minutes late due to late turn of EB Train 9
WB Train 218 is 20-30 minutes due to late turn of EB Train 209 and waiting for EB trains to clear Track 1
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Oily Substance Forces Swimmers Out of Water at Porter Beach

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What is being called an "oily substance" is reportedly floating in Lake Michigan, moving from west to east at Porter Beach and officials have told swimmers to get out of the water..  Bruce Rowe, Supervisory Park Ranger and Public Information officer for the Indiana Dunes National Shoreline says officials do not know a lot at this hour, "whether it is oil or not has not yet been determined."  Rowe says Porter County Hazmat is on the scene along with National Park Service Rangers and the Porter Fire Department.  
 
Jessica Kadish of Westville, was one of the swimmers who were evacuated from the water and when asked whether she saw the oil slick approach Kadish said, "you could see...it was definitely dark, very dark water."
The Times is reporting that initial reports indicated swimmers were coming out of the water covered in an oily substance.
Porter Beach remains closed at this time.
Read more at https://ww.nwitimes.com
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Major Equipment Delays On the South Shore Line

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Due to significant wire damage east of East Chicago,  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District is reporting the following train delays on the South Shore Line as of 3 p.m. CST:
Extra Eastbound Train departed East Chicago Station at 2:39pm
WB Train 116 has been cancelled at East Chicago
WB Train 216 will be departing Gary Metro Station in approximately 10 minutes
WB Train 18 departed Carroll Ave. approximately 1 ½ hours late
WB Train 118 departed Carroll Ave. 10-15 min behind schedule
NICTD is expecting EB rush hour trains to depart Chicago on time but may experience delays en route. All trains are operating on Track 1 from Indiana/Illinois State Line to Gary.
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Semi Lost Steel Coil On EB Indiana Toll Rd. at I-65

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INDOT is reporting two left lanes are blocked eastbound on the Indiana Toll Road (I-90) at the I-65 exit due to a crash involving a semi and up to two passenger vehicles.  The semi reported lost a steel coil which ended up int he left lane with the semi stopped on the left hand shoulder.   At his time, it is unclear if the other vehicles became involved before or as a result of the truck loosing its load.  traffic tipsters are reporting that only one lane, the center lane is reportedly open.
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Munster Traffic Advisory

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The Town of Munster Public Works Department says they will be closing Ridge Road beginning 9PM tonight [Tuesday, June 18 ] until 7AM Wednesday [ June 19] for water main replacement along Greenwood Avenue. The detour will use Columbia Avenue, 35th Street, and White Oak Avenue, and signs will be posted. Town officials also say tesidents will need to identify an alternate route to their homes, and anyone with questions should contact Munster Town Hall at 836-6971.
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Valparaiso Man Killed in Borman Crash

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[Photo/Indiana State Police]
In Lake County, an early morning crash claimed the life of a 64-year-old Valparaiso man and caused a car and semi fire that closed the eastbound side of the Borman Expressway for almost four hours. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed that shortly after 3:30 am, a three-wheel motorcycle driven by John Arama was just east of Chase Street in Gary when for unknown reasons he came off and landed in the middle lane, and the vehicle continued for about a half-mile before coming to rest in the left lane. Troopers say a semi was unable to avoid striking the motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene. A car driven by an Arizona woman sideswiped the motorcycle, then crashed into the rear of another semi. She and her 18-year-old passenger were able to get out before the 2003 Ford Taurus became engulfed in flames, and theywere taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say both were wearing seat belts. The drivers of the semi's were uninjured.
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Motorcyclist Killed in Borman Crash

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[Photo/Indiana State Police]
In Lake County, an early morning crash claimed the life of a motorcyclist and caused a car and semi fire that closed the eastbound side of the Borman Expressway for almost four hours. Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation revealed that shortly after 3:30 am, a three-wheel motorcycle, 2002 Road Hawk trike, was just east of Chase Street in Gary when for unknown reasons the driver came off and landed in the middle lane, and the vehicle continued for about a half-mile before coming to rest in the left lane. Troopers say a semi was unable to avoid striking the motorcyclist, who was pronounced dead at the scene. As of the time of the news release, the motorcyclist's name had not been released, pending notification of family.  A car driven by a 28-year-old Arizona woman sideswiped the motorcycle, officials say, then crashed into the rear of another semi. Police say she and her 18-year-old passenger were able to get out before the 2003 Ford Taurus became engulfed in flames, and they were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police say both were wearing seat belts. The drivers of the semi's were uninjured.  
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Life-Threatening Injuries in Lowell Crash

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Lake County Sheriffs Police say a 20-year-old Lowell man suffered life-threatening injuries in a single-vehicle crash shortly after 5 a-m Sunday near Lowell. Police say Cole Midgett was in the 28-hundred block of Belshaw Road when for unknown reasons the Chevrolet Equinox he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. He was extricated by Lowell Fire and Tri-Creek EMS, and transported to St. Anthony Medical Center, later to be airlifted to a Chicago-area medical center. In a news release today, Lake County Sheriffs Police said they had no update on his condition, other than he remained hospitalized, and that alcohol was considered to a factor in this crash, but no blood-alcohol content was available.
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State Safety Tips for Festival Season

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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana State Board of Animal Health and Indiana State Police are sending out basic safety information for Hoosiers visiting festivals and fairs this season... among them, monitor weather forecasts and know where to go in the event of an unexpected thunderstorm... wear sunscreen and closed-toe shoes, not flips-flops, to protect your feet... keep a watchful eye on children... and if you see something suspicious, say something. The department also says every ride should have a prominently displayed, current permit issued by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
More info from the Indiana Department of Homeland Security:
General Safety Tips
•Pay attention to weather forecasts and prepare appropriately.
•Be aware of your surroundings and know where you will go if you need to seek shelter from an unexpected thunderstorm.
•Be sure to use sunscreen and sunglasses to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Remember, even on overcast days UV rays are still powerful enough to burn skin so use sunscreen.
•On hot days, make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
•Wear closed toe shoes like tennis shoes, not flip-flops or sandals, to protect your feet.
•Remember “If you see something, say something.” If you see people or activities that seem suspicious, report your observations to the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center at 877-226-1026. If you believe danger is imminent, contact local security or call 911.
Safety tips for kids and caregivers
Teach kids to stay calm and stay put if they become separated from parents or other caregivers. Knowing what to do in this scary situation will help prevent a lost child from panicking, and help safety officials locate them faster.
•Keep a watchful eye on children. It’s easy for children and caregivers to become separated in large crowds.
•Have an established family meeting location where you will reconnect if separated.
•Check with county fair organizers and ask for ‘missing parent’ contact tags your children can wear with your name and cell phone number in case your child becomes separated.
•If you do become separated from your child, notify local security immediately.
Animal Safety Tips
•Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching animals, and don’t consume any food inside of the barns.
•Watch out for animal feces on barn floors and aisle ways when walking or using strollers.
•Animals at the fair are in a noisy, crowded and unfamiliar environment, and may easily become dangerous if they are spooked or scared.
•Avoid running, yelling, talking loudly or making loud noises while in the animal barns.
•Never attempt to pet any animal at the fair without receiving explicit permission from the animal’s owner.
Fire Safety Tips
•Make sure all fires are extinguished and dispose of cigarettes properly.
•Ensure all wires being used for fair exhibits are away from flammable materials such as cloth or hay.
•If parking on grass lots while attending the fair, avoid parking on tall dry grass. Park on mowed grass whenever possible.
•Use caution refilling generators. Exhaust can be very hot. Make sure the exhaust vent is pointing up in the air and not down at the ground, where it could catch dry grass or other flammables on fire.
Amusement Ride Safety Tips
•Don’t board a ride if you see broken parts, signs of improper maintenance, or an inattentive operator. Report your observations to the ride operator or call IDHS amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
•Every ride should have a prominently displayed, current permit issued by IDHS. If the ride has no such permit, call the amusement ride hotline at 1-888-203-5020.
•Read all posted rules and listen to instructions given by ride operators.
•Watch the ride with your child before boarding. Point out the operator and the entrance and exit locations prior to riding. Make sure they understand the instructions and warnings fully.
•Obey minimum height, age, and weight restrictions. Never sneak children onto rides if they are too small or too young. A smaller/younger child may not be physically or developmentally able to stay safely seated.
•If you can’t count on your child to stay seated with hands and feet inside, don’t let them ride.
•Keep all body parts (hands, arms, legs, long hair, etc.) inside the ride at all times. If you have long hair, keep it pulled up with a hat or hair tie.
•Always use the safety equipment provided (seat belt, shoulder harness, lap bar, etc.).
•Remain in the ride until it comes to a complete stop at the unloading point. If a ride stops temporarily due to mechanical failure or other reasons, stay seated and wait for an operator to give you further instructions.
•Know your physical conditions and limitations. If you suspect that your health could be at risk for any reason, or that you could aggravate a preexisting condition of any kind, do not ride.
•Additional ride safety tips are available at GetPrepared.in.gov.
IDHS coordinates the certification of all emergency medical services personnel in Indiana, and oversees the regular inspection of emergency medical transports and the required medical equipment. The Indiana State Building Commissioner’s Office, charged with permitting and inspecting amusement rides in Indiana, is also a division of IDHS.
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Lowell Man Critically Injured

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A 20-year-old Lowell man reportedly suffered critical injuries in a single-vehicle crash shortly after 5 a-m Sunday in Lowell. Police say Cole Midgett was in the 28-hundred block of Belshaw Road when for unknown reasons the SUV he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree. He was taken to a local hospital then transferred to a Chicago-area medical center.
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Domestic Dispute Turns Deadly

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In Crown Point, police say an apparent domestic dispute over the weekend left one person dead and another person seriously hurt. The Lake County Coroners office says 26-year-old Brittany Peters suffered multiple wounds in an apartment in the 900 block of Heritage Court and was pronounced dead just after 7:30 Saturday night at an area hospital. A 32-year-old man, believed to be the woman's boyfriend, also suffered stab wounds in an apparent struggle between the two, authorities say, and his condition was not available.
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Officers Investigate Two Drowning Deaths

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Indiana Conservation Officers say they are investigating the drowning of a Lake Station man in Deep River. Officers say 25-year-old Jeffery Sandefur was with friends along Deep River near the Waterfront Lounge in Lake Station at 11:47 pm Saturday night when he told friends he wanted to go swimming. Authorities say witnesses quickly dialed 911 after Sandefur did not resurface. Indiana Conservation Officers were assisted by many agencies on scene including Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Lake Hills, Cedar Lake, Crown Point, and Lakes of the Four Seasons, and the Lake County Sheriff’s Department and the Lake County Aquatics Team. Officials say Sandefur was recovered just at 3:37 am Sunday morning. The Lake County Coroners office says Sandefur sustained no visible trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 4:30 Sunday morning, and manner of death was listed as pending. 
In northeast Indiana, Indiana Conservation Officers say they are investigating the apparent drowning death of an 18-year-old Marion man Sunday afternoon at a state reservoir in Huntington County about thirty miles southwest of Fort Wayne. Officials say witnesses stated Jordan Laute swam out past the roped barrier into deep water, and that once it became evident he was in trouble, witnesses and bystanders attempted unsuccessfully to locate him. Indiana Conservation Officers utilized side scan sonar to locate Laute in 9’ of water at 6:15pm.
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Serious Accident Closes EB Borman

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Traffic-Alert
Accident blocking all lanes eastbound Borman near 6 mile marker, just before Burr Street in Gary.  Involved a car that was on fire.  Crews on scene. May be a fatality investigation. 
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Paula Cooper to Be Released

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43-year-old Paula Cooper is scheduled to be released from prison today. She was arrested at the age of 15 and convicted of murdering 78-year-old Bible teacher Ruth Pelke in Pelke's Glen Park home in 1985; the elderly woman, officials say, was stabbed more than thirty times.. Three other teenage girls from Gary were also convicted and went to prison in connection with the crime and have since been released. The four, authorities say, took ten dollars, and the victim's car. When Cooper was sentenced to death at the age of 16, she was the youngest person in the state to ever face the death penalty, and the youngest death row inmate in 1986. Following international outcry over the sentence, and an appeal from Pope John Paul II, the Indiana Supreme Court commuted her death sentence a few years later, sentencing her to sixty-years in prison.
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Meijer Opens Portage Store

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The ribbon was cut Thursday for a brand-new Meijer at US highway 6 and Willowcreek Road in Portage. The former “Super K” along US 6 has been transformed into a new 190-thousand square-foot supercenter now open for Region shoppers. The Grand Opening Celebration is this Sunday. 
Meijer also presented donations as part of the store's opening: five-thousand dollars for the Portage Police Department's K9 unit, two-thousand dollars to the Portage Township Food Pantry, and five-hundred dollars went to Hannah's Hope, a non-profit organization that tries to help children with special needs obtain various therapies and expensive medical equipment.
The Grand-Rapids based retailer, which opened its first store in 1934, opened two stores in northern Indiana Thursday – the other in Warsaw. Combined the company says the stores will create more than five-hundred new jobs. Meijer officials also say the new locations are built to “LEED”, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.
(https://www.meijer.com)
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License Branches Closed Today for Maintenance Work

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This reminder... All Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicle license branches are closed today while the Indiana Office of Technology staff completes a major maintenance project on the State's computer system. The myBMV.com website will also not be available to until the repairs are completed.  License branches will resume normal hours of operation the week of June 17th.

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Historic Lake Co. Courthouse Sustains Storm Damage

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The storm that battered Crown Point on Wednesday took a direct hit at the historic Lake Court House.
The force of the 100-mile-per-hour winds blew out windows in the Bell Tower, damaged sections of the clay tile roof, uprooted signs and downed tree limbs. Costs to repair the damage is estimated in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Marty Wheeler, president of the Lake Court House Foundation, is appealing to the community for help.

“The storm caused significant damage to the Court House and the surrounding grounds,” Wheeler said. “This is a historic building that receives no support except what we are able to get through donations from individuals and businesses throughout Lake County. We are asking anyone who has a few dollars they can spare to donate what they can to the Grand Old Lady. She has stood through many storms during her 135 years here but this one has certainly taken its toll.”

The Lake Court House Foundation Board has been hard at work drumming up support and donations for necessary repairs for the Court House and to create an endowment that would help when unexpected crises – such as storms – cause damage.

If you would like to help, please send donations to:Lake Court House Foundation, P.O. Box 556, Crown Point, IN 46308.

You may also donate online at https://www.lakecourthousefoundation.org.  For more information, please contact Wheeler at (219) 663-0660.
CP CH
(crownpoint.net)
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