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New Jobs Coming to Northern Ind

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BMD Agency, LLC, a boutique creative design firm, announced plans today to expand its operations in northern Indiana, creating up to 27 new jobs by 2016.  The homegrown-Hoosier company will invest $4.1 million to build and equip a 20,000 square-foot facility in the Silverado Industrial Park, a state certified shovel ready site in Roanoke, in Allen County. BMD Agency plans to move from its current Fort Wayne site to the new facility by the end of the year.   BMD Agency, which currently has 29 full-time employees in Indiana, is currently hiring additional writers and graphic designers. Interested applicants can apply at www.brittonmdg.com/careers. 
"Most of our new clients are from outside of Indiana and that has made it tempting to expand our operations closer to new opportunities," said Jeff Britton, principal of BMD Agency. "But our roots are here in Indiana. Our long-standing client Vera Bradley is here and we believe that our Midwestern work ethic, combined with the latest technology, a new inspiring work environment and an expanded world-class team will allow us to compete with the best. We look forward to our continued future in northeast Indiana and thank the IEDC and local officials for helping make this expansion possible."
Founded in 2006 by Jeff and Sue Britton, BMD Agency provides advertising and lifestyle marketing services to clients that specialize in female consumer goods that are influenced by color and fashion trends. The company, whose clients include Vera Bradley, Summit Brands, Benjamin Moore Paints and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, received a 2011 RACIE Award by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association for its work on the 2010 Vera Bradley catalog. 
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Indiana Teen Inspires Referee Legislation

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[Photo provided/Matthew Burkart testifies in committee on Tuesday, March 5.]
An Indiana House Committee has unanimously approved a bill inspired by a thirteen-year-old boy from Newburgh. Senate Bill 153 would create an exemption in Indiana's child labor laws to allow Hoosiers younger than 14 to work as youth athletic program referees, umpires or officials. Evansville Holy Rosary Catholic School student Matthew Burkart sought the change after he was turned away from taking a referee job or volunteering as an official for a local soccer club. Burkart, who testified in both the Senate and House committee hearings, said “This bill will get kids off the couches and iPads” and help teach responsibility, commitment and confidence.
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[Photo provided/Matthew Burkart and his father, Bob, meet with Rep. Crouch (located far left in photo) and Sen. Becker (located far right in photo) after committee on Tuesday, March 5.]
Burkart also says the bill would potentially help 300 12- and 13-year-old Hoosiers who want to referee.
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Have You Changed Your Clocks and Batteries?

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Crown Point Fire Rescue says time change is a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detector....
Meanwhile... the time zone debate continues in Indiana...
For years, most of the state, including South Bend, Lafayette and Indianapolis, was Eastern Standard all year long, but that changed in April 2006, when all counties in the state began observing Daylight Saving Time.
Carmel [car'-mll] Senator Mike Delph authored a resolution this session asking the US Department of Transportation to hold hearings on placing the entire state in the Central Time Zone.
For many years, much earlier, since 1918, Indiana was a Central Time state – but that changed in1961, when the Interstate Commerce Commission divided Indiana into two time zones, Eastern and Central.
Currently, twelve Indiana counties, in northwest and southwest Indiana, observe Central Time.
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Alarming Jump in Heroin Deaths

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Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says he has seen an alarming number of what appear to be heroin-related deaths recently. "We don't have the toxicology reports back yet," Harris said, " but as everything appears right now with the probable and suspected heroin overdoses we're pretty much at the same levels that we were back in 2012 for the entire year and we're not even three months into 2013 at this point. "   In 2012, Harris says Porter County had nine deaths related to the drug, and so far this year there have been eight, confirmed or suspected, linked to heroin.  Harris is urging parents to start getting "a little bit nosy", especially if they have children they might suspect are into something like heroin, or even if they don't suspect anything, to try to find out what they're into. Harris says individuals who've died in the past couple of weeks have generally been between the ages of 18 and 25.
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Residential Fire Call in Porter County

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Word of a second residential fire call this morning.  Multiple crews were reportedly dispatched to a house on County Road 250 South, east of Lakes of the Four Seasons in Porter County, just after 715 am this morning.
Earlier this morning, mutliple departments responded to a fire on Belmont Place in south Lake County.  The area is just west of Cedar Lake and Lake Dalecarlia, between those communities and the Indiana/Illinois state line off 151st Avenue. No other details available at this hour.  Reportedly fire crews from Lake and Porter Counties are assisting at the scene.  More information as it becomes available.
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Crash Blocks EB Borman

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Crash Blocks EB Borman
Lake County commuters -- Huge delays early today on the Borman Expressway. On the eastbound Borman (Interstate 80/94) at Calumet Avenue in Hammond, authorities are responding to a  3-truck accident. As of 630 this morning, all lanes of EB 80/94 were closed; right shoulder passable. Solid congestion, 30-minute delay backed up into Illinois.  Crews on scene.  Gapers delay westbound  80/94 from Indianapolis west to Calumet Avenue.
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Fire in South Lake County

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Mutliple departments are responding to a fire on Belmont Place in south Lake County.  The area is just west of Cedar Lake and Lake Dalecarlia, between those communities and the Indiana/Illinois state line off 151st Avenue. No other details available at this hour.  Reportedly fire crews from Lake and Porter Counties are assisting at the scene.  More information as it becomes available.
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TV Show to Feature Paulsen Murder Case

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A local case will be featured on the Investigation Discovery Channel's series called "Nightmare Next Door". Tuesday's episode will look back at the murder of an eight-year-old Portage girl killed in 1995, her body found in a wooded area . Eugene Britt was arrested in November 1995 and pleaded guilty to Sarah Paulsen's death. He was sentenced to life without parole plus one-hundred years. In November 2006, he was convicted of murdering three Lake County women and raping a 13-year-old girl in 1995, and was sentenced to 245 years in prison.
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Silver Alert Issued in Carroll Co

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Overnight, authorities in Indiana issued a a Regional Silver Alert. The Carroll County Sheriff is investigating the disappearance of an adult from Camden, Indiana. Camden Indiana is located approximately 18 miles south-west of Logansport, and about ninety-miles southeast of Merrillville.. Donald Eugene Hickman Sr. is an 82 year old white male, 5 feet 5 inches tall, 160 lbs., with short gray hair and hazel eyes. He has vision in only his left eye and has a glass eye in his right eye socket, as well as tattoos on both arms, one of which is a picture of a knife. Donald Hickman was last seen at 1:00 pm Sunday, March 10, 2013 and is believed to have been in the vicinity of East Main Street in Camden, Indiana. Donald Hickman is believed to be in danger. Donald Hickman was last seen wearing a sports shirt, knit pants, and black shoes. Donald Hickman may be disoriented and require medical attention. He may be alone or traveling in the company of other persons.
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No Word on Downtown EC Fire Cause

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Officials continue to try to determine the cause of a fire that destroyed a number of businesses in downtown East Chicago Saturday evening. East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland tells the Times the only known was to a firefighter who was struck by a shifting fire hose. Fire crews responded around 4:30 that afternoon to a commercial building that housed a recycling company, auto glass shop, and other businesses. The structure reportedly covers half a block at Tod and Chicago Avenues.
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March Against Hunger Food Drive in Northwest Indiana

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Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller launched the fifth annual statewide March Against Hunger food drive competition Friday at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana in Gary.

The Gary food bank is one of 11 regional food banks in Indiana that partner with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry or FIsH – an organization which helps link Indiana’s resources to feed those in need. For the fifth consecutive year, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has joined FIsH and the Indiana State Bar Association to help challenge law firms to donate goods and raise money for these banks.
 

"March Against Hunger is an opportunity to spread awareness about a growing problem and spotlight attorneys who go above and beyond to help their clients and their communities,” Zoeller said. "Hunger is preventable and that’s why we are calling on those in the profession to lend their support." 

 

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana Director Angie Williams said the group provides nutritional support to those in need of hunger relief through its network of 100 community agencies across Lake and Porter counties.

 

“We are very happy to be working with the Attorney General and the legal community once again on March Against Hunger,” Williams said. “The drive is a great way for people to get involved in the fight against hunger while having fun and fostering the competitive spirit. March Against Hunger not only helps us feed our neighbors, but it also helps us raise awareness of the problem throughout the state and gets people talking about what can be done to combat hunger. We are extremely grateful to Attorney General Zoeller for holding the drive again this year."

 

“We are again thankful for Attorney General Zoeller’s commitment to helping Hoosiers in need, and Hoosier attorneys for rising to the challenge,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of FIsH. “One in six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and for children just one in four.  We’ve not seen a decrease in demand and appreciate the support of the March Against Hunger drive to bring more meals to our member food banks to distribute across all 92 counties.”

 

To sign up to participate in this year's statewide competition visit www.marchagainsthunger.org or www.in.gov/attorneygeneral. Totals and winners will be announced shortly after the deadline to donate which is March 31.

 

In 2012, 51 law firms participated in the March Against Hunger and donated more than 11,400 pounds of food and raised $51,822. Since 2009, food drive participants have donated more than 34,100 pounds of food and raised $127,167 total.

 

This year the “Attorney General’s Cup” will be presented to the firm in each of the six categories that collects the most donations:

 

  • Sole Proprietor
  • Small firm (2-11 persons)
  • Medium firm (12-21 persons)
  • Large firm (22-49 persons)
  • X-Large firm (50+ persons)
  • Public/non-profit firm

 

 "As a fellow lawyer, I can't say enough about Attorney General Zoeller's commitment to serving Hoosiers in need," said ISBA President Daniel B. Vinovich. "It is opportunities like this annual food drive that allow us to serve beyond our clients and I am so proud of the overwhelming contributions that pour in each year."

 

Those not employed by a law firm can contribute nonperishable foods at a participating firm listed at www.in.gov/attorneygeneral or a FIsH food bank listed at www.feedingindianashungry.org

 

 

The attorney general's speech at the Gary food bank is available at:  http://regionnewsteam.com


Atty Gen. Greg Zoeller
Indiana Attorney General, Greg Zoeller kicking off the March Against Hunger food drive event at the Food Bank of Northwest Indiana in Gary on Friday.

(article provided by the Office of the Indiana Attorney General)


(photo provided by Jay Stevens)


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Springsteen Arrested in Flossmoor Thursday Night

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Blake Springsteen
(Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
The Cook County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that the search for a 22 year old Homewood man suspected of severely beating and stabbing his mother earlier this week is over. Sheriff Thomas Dart reports Blake Springsteen was arrested without incident in Flossmoor, Illinois, Thursday night, by the Flossmorr Police Department, after receiving a tip he was in the area. Authorities report Springsteen is suspected of beating his mother in unincorporated Homewood, then he reportedly bound her, put her in the trunk of a car and drove to Crete, where he is accused of stabbing her multiple times, and leaving her in a ditch in the nine-hundred block of Columbia Street. The Sheriff's Office say at last check, the victim remains in stable condition.
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MCPD Warn of Scammers Trying to Get Your Tax Refund

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As always, scammers are out in full force, looking for ways to get their hands on some of your hard-earned cash. Before you trust someone with your tax information, stop and ask yourself whether or not it’s too good to be true.
Here are three tax scams to watch out for:
 
#1. Identity Thieves
Indiana consumers filing their taxes this year should take precautions to protect themselves from identity thieves who can steal their information and file a tax return in their name.
Last year, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office received nearly 70 complaints regarding tax-refund fraud. In most cases, thieves used a legitimate taxpayer’s personal information to file a tax return and the victim was unaware until they were notified by the IRS. 
If you receive an unsolicited email claiming to be from the IRS that contains a request for personal information, do not respond. Remember the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by email to request personal or financial information.
#2. “Special” Grants and Credits
There are some scammers who insist that you can claim “special” grants, credits, or exceptions due to certain characteristics, such as race or religion and for a small fee can guide you through this process.
The folks that promote these schemes have been posting flyers and advertisements claiming that free money is available from the IRS.
No matter what anybody tells you, tax credits, refunds and rebates are based on a set of tax-related criteria. You don’t get “Extra Refunds” on your tax return for being cute or tall, or because you listen to country music!
Despite the fact that deep down we all know that you can’t get something for nothing.
 
#3. Shady Tax Preparers
Scammers pose as tax professionals, promising that they can help you claim these special tax privileges. In reality, after showing you how much you could get back, they ask for a fee, and then disappear — leaving you with a tax audit possibility.
There are no special tax treatments for race, ethnicity, religion, or other characteristics. Be wary of anyone who claims that you can get special tax grants or credits in this manner.
Trust your gut. If you don’t feel comfortable, walk away. A real tax professional won’t be insulted if you do – and a bogus one doesn’t deserve your business.
 
As always if you feel that you have been scammed or someone is attempting to cheat you please contact Sgt. Chris Yagelski 873-1461 ext. #333 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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ECPD Accepting Applications for Citizen's Academy

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East Chicago PD
Mark J. Becker, Chief of Police, today announced the following information:
The East Chicago Police Department is pleased to announce that applications are now being accepted for the department’s “Citizen’s Academy’, which will be held on Thursday evenings from April 24 to May 29th. The evening sessions will run from 6:30pm – 8:30pm and will culminate with a graduation dinner on June 8th
The Citizen’s Academy is designed to provide citizens with an intimate look into the workings of the department and the law enforcement profession in general. The presentations will provide all with a better understanding as to the day to day operations of the department and the challenges it faces, all of which can be better addressed by partnering with the community
Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, live or work in East Chicago, be able to pass a limited background inquiry and have no felony convictions
The Academy will address many topics, to include –
  • Police Administration
  • Community Policing
  • Patrol
  • Firearms
  • Detective Bureau Investigations
  • Crime Scene Investigation
  • Canine
  • Dispatch
  • “Ride Alongs”
There is limited seating available and applicants are encouraged to apply early. An application form may be obtained at the department or by contacting Lieutenant Marguerite Wilder at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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Crash On WB Borman Backing-up NB I-65

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The left lane of westbound I-80/94 is closed near I-65 due to a crash. Expect delays as you travel westbound on I-80/94 near mile marker 11.2.  The crash is backing up onto northbound I-65 traffic.   A number of traffic tipsters are reporting that all northbound lanes of I-65 are backing up from before 61st Avenue all the way to the Borman.

Crash On WB Borman Backing-up NB I-65
Northbound I-65 backed up from 61st Avenue to I-80/94 due to a crash that has the left lane closed westbound Borman just west of I-65.
(photo from INDOT traffic cams)
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Gary Mayor Gives Lt. Gov IEDC Chairperson Tour of City

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KFW Lt Gov Sen Rogers
(Lt. Gov Ellspermann, Sentor Rogers, & Mayor Freeman-Wilson)
KFW Rep Smith Lt Gov
(Lt. Gov Ellspermann, Rep Smith, & Mayor Freeman-Wilson)
(Photos Courtesy of the City of Gary)
In Gary, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson gave Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann and Indiana Economic Development Corporation Chairman Eric Doden a tour of the city. Mayor Freeman-Wilson says, “Their presence here is further evidence of the new administration's willingness to work with us, and I am honored to have them visit our great city...we look forward to them returning to Northwest Indiana and assisting us with advancing our economic development projects.” Tour stops included the Gary Area Career Center, New Tech High School, University and Marquette Parks.
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Visclosky Answers Questions at Hobart Middle School

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Congressman Pete Visclosky was at Hobart Middle School today to answer some questions from it's students. The topics ranged from gun control and marijuana legislation to taxes. The congressman answered questions about his inspirations for becoming involved with politics and his future. Congressman Visclosky said that he would like to teach once he leaves politics.
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Donnelly Statement on North Korea Threat

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Washington, D.C.— Today, Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement regarding the North Korean government's threat this week to nullify the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953.
"I strongly oppose any North Korean actions taken to disrupt peace on the Korean Peninsula.  The North Korean government's escalating threats are deeply concerning, and as a member of the Armed Services Committee, I am following developments on the peninsula closely.  The United States will take all action necessary to defend our own nation and our allies, including the Republic of Korea, in the case of attack and I support all measures to preserve peace on the peninsula."
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Gary Man Killed in Early Morning Crash in Lake Station

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A 29 year old Gary man is dead after a fatal crash in Lake Station earlier this morning. Lake Station Police report it appears the Gary man's vehicle struck the rear of a flatbed truck, driven by a 56 year old Hobart man, that was stopped at a traffic light in the inner eastbound lane at the intersection of Central Avenue and Grand Boulevard, sometime around 2am. Police say the Gary man was transported to St. Mary Medical Center for treatment, and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. An autopsy was scheduled for earlier today, and an investigation is ongoing pending the results of the toxicology report.
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Snow Parking Restrictions in MC Lifted at 8am Saturday

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Snow removal parking restrictions that were put into place in Michigan City on Thursday morning will be lifted Saturday morning. Michigan City officials say as of 8am tomorrow, normal parking rules will be back in effect. Mayor Ron Meer is thanking citizens for all their help and cooperation during the snow removal process.
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