Hammond Schedules Chicago St Meeting

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The City of Hammond will hold a Public Meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. featuring a couple of presentations.........first at City Hall, then a second one that evening at Washington Irving Middle School to discuss a proposed project to reconstruct and widen Chicago Street from South Brainard Avenue, on the Indiana border with Illinois, to White Oak Avenue, at the eastern limits of the City of Hammond. The entire length of the proposed project is approximately 2.1 miles.
The proposed project will include improvements to the existing roadway, including new pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks, storm sewers, roadway lighting, and new traffic signals.
Here's more info from the city:
The City of Hammond will hold a Public Meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013. Two presentations will be offered. The first presentation will be held at City Hall, 5925 Calumet Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46320, with a formal presentation at 12:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The second presentation will be in the auditorium of Washington Irving Middle School located 4727 Pine Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46327 with a formal presentation at 6:00 p.m. An open house will follow each of the presentations. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the project purpose and need, alternatives being investigated, and afford an opportunity for public participation and allow discussion of any views and comments the public may have in relation to the proposed project. Concept plans of the proposed project will be on display for public review. City of Hammond and design consultants will be available during the meeting to discuss the project.
The City of Hammond, Indiana, is developing a federal-aid project to reconstruct and widen Chicago Street (formerly known as State Route (SR) 312) through Hammond from South Brainard Avenue, on the Indiana border with Illinois, to White Oak Avenue, at the eastern limits of the City of Hammond. The entire length of the proposed project is approximately 2.1 miles. Former SR 312 coincides with three separate streets as it traverses the project study area, including Gostlin Street, Sheffield Avenue, and Chicago Street. The project limits, from west to east, begin at the intersection of Gostlin Street and South Brainard Avenue and continue east along Gostlin Street to the intersection of Gostlin Street and Sheffield Avenue, where the project study area continues south along Sheffield Avenue to the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street. At this intersection, the project study area turns east along Chicago Street to the study area’s eastern terminus at the intersection of Chicago Street and White Oak Avenue.
The western end of the proposed project corridor is currently a two-lane roadway. Travelling east along the corridor, the roadway remains two lanes until the intersection of Gostlin Street and Sheffield Avenue, where a left-turn lane is provided for both eastbound and westbound traffic. Turning south, Sheffield Avenue is a two-lane facility. No left-turn lane is provided at the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street. Turning east onto Chicago Street from Sheffield Avenue, Chicago Street is a two-lane facility with striped on-street parking along both sides of the roadway up to its intersection with Calumet Avenue, where both left- and right-turn lanes are provided for eastbound and westbound traffic. East of Calumet Avenue, Chicago Street becomes a four-lane roadway with two eastbound and two westbound travel lanes and striped on-street parking along both sides of the roadway through to the end of the project study area. Left-turn lanes are provided for both eastbound and westbound traffic at the intersection of Chicago Street and Columbia Avenue.
The proposed project will include improvements to the existing roadway, including new pavement, curb and gutter, sidewalks, storm sewers, roadway lighting, and new traffic signals. Several alternatives are currently being evaluated. The current proposed project includes realignment of Gostlin Street between the Indiana/Illinois state line and Sheffield Avenue, leaving the current alignment of Gostlin Street as a local access road between Clark Avenue and Wabash Avenue. The intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Gostlin Street will be shifted to the southwest and become a roundabout. Sheffield Avenue will be slightly realigned, and the intersection of Sheffield Avenue and Chicago Street will be realigned to eliminate the 90 degree turn. The intersection of Hohman Avenue and Chicago Street will also become a roundabout. Additionally, Chicago Street between Hohman Avenue and Torrence Avenue will be widened to accommodate these improvements. Intersection improvements are also proposed at Johnson Avenue, Pine Avenue, and Columbia Avenue.
This project is being proposed to improve safety, reduce congestion, repair deteriorated infrastructure, and maintain the east-west travel corridor for truck traffic. It is anticipated that new permanent right-of-way will be acquired from residential, commercial, park, and industrial properties.
The proposed project is anticipated to be constructed in two phases with Phase I extending from Brainard Avenue to Calumet Avenue and Phase II extending from Calumet Avenue to White Oak Avenue. It is anticipated that Phase I will be let in July 2015 with Phase II being let in September 2016. Estimated construction costs as of September 2011 were $16 million with 80 percent of this total being provided by federal funding and 20 percent coming from local funding. Maintenance of traffic during construction will be coordinated with the Indiana Department of Transportation, the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of East Chicago, and the City of Hammond.
Initial investigations, including an assessment of potential hazardous materials sites, historic resources, land use, and ecological resources have been completed. Several sites along the project corridor contain hazardous materials and will be further investigated. One property, the Polish Army Veterans’ Post No. 40 located at 241 Gostlin Street, was recommended as eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion A for its association with the ethnic and military heritage of the Hammond Polish community. Additionally, the project traverses Census Tracts containing both low income and minority populations identified as meeting the criteria for an Environmental Justice population. An Environmental Assessment is being prepared for this project and will be completed in 2013.
This notice is published in compliance with Title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 771.111(h) entitled “Early Coordination, Public Involvement and Project Development,” and the Indiana Public Involvement Manual, approved by the Federal Highway Administration, US Department of Transportation, on August 16, 2012.
Please direct any questions or comments concerning this project to Christine Meador, American Structurepoint, Inc., 7260 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, Indiana 46256. Contact Ms. Meador at (317) 547 5580, or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
In accordance with the “Americans with Disabilities Act,” if you have a disability for which the City of Hammond would need to provide accommodations pertaining to the accessibility to program documents and participation at the public meeting, or if you are a person of Limited English Proficiency (LEP) requiring assistance pertaining to accessing project documents and participating at the public meeting venue, contact Christine Meador at American Structurepoint, Inc., 7260 Shadeland Station, Indianapolis, Indiana 46256, (317) 547 5580, or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit the project website at

Read more: Hammond Schedules Chicago St Meeting


Stop the Tax Rally

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A stop the tax rally was held at the Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point last night, as Lake County sits on the threshold of approving a one-and-a-half percent local income tax.
The tax has gotten preliminary approval, and there's word today that the Lake County Council may hold a special meeting this Monday to consider it again, and if approved, it would then go before the county commissioners for a vote.
Kim Krull, lead organizer of Lake County Taxpayers Against Additional Taxation, the group behind Monday evening's rally in Crown Point, told our Jay Stevens earlier she believes the tax would have a ripple effect on local businesses.
Lake is the only county without one, and for years its property tax levy was frozen because of it. Legislation was just approved lifting that freeze.

Read more: Stop the Tax Rally


Valpo Woman in Critical Condition After Motorcycle Crash

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A Valparaiso woman is listed in critical condition at last check after a motorcycle crash Sunday afternoon in LaPorte County. Authorities report a 65 year old LaPorte man did not see the motorcycle, and turned into its path at the intersection of U-S 421 and State Road 2 near Westville. 40 year old Angie Oaks was a passenger on the motorcycle and was reportedly airlifted to a South bend hospital today for her injuries, while the driver of the motorcycle, 44 year old Barry Frey, also of Valparaiso, was taken to a Michigan City hospital with less severe injuries. Neither were wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
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HIghland PD Accepting Unwanted Drugs, Guns, and Ammo

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Highland Police
The Highland Police Department reports they collected 503-pounds of old or unwanted prescription drugs and other medications on Saturday, in participation with the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day campaign. Highland Police says if you missed out, they, along with many other local area police departments, will accept any prescription drugs and medications on a permanent basis, as well as any unwanted guns and ammunition. All information for either items will remain confidential.
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WB South Shore Train 118 Delayed Indefinitely

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Westbound South Shore Train 118 delayed indefinitely due to mechanical problems at our Gary Metro Station.
At this time Train 118 is not on the move.  We will update this messages as soon as we have further information available.
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Read more: WB South Shore Train 118 Delayed Indefinitely


Man Charged with Felony Battery Against Child and Cop

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Mathew Dominion
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 40 year old man faces two felony counts of battery, and misdemeanor battery with bodily injury, resisting law enforcement, and disorderly conduct after an incident Saturday night. Authorities say Mathew Dominion is alleged to have picked up a six year boy and acted as if he was going to throw the child into a fire in his back yard, in the 43-hundred block of Ostedt Drive, around 9:30pm. A concerned neighbor reportedly was punched in the face by Dominion after he told him to stop being so rough. Police later arrested Dominion at his home, using physical force, and even used a taser at one point, after Dominion allegedly kicked an officer in the back of his twice after being placed in the back of a squad car.
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ISTEP Testing Today Canceled Due to Glitch

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ISTEP Plus online testing today had to be canceled at a number of school districts in Indiana after students reportedly kept getting clicked off-line due to an apparent glitch. C-T-B issued a statement today saying they are trying to resolve the issue. At last check, testing was postponed in Brownsburg, Carmel, and the West Lafeyette school districts, with Shelby and Tippecanoe schools also affected.
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Read more: ISTEP Testing Today Canceled Due to Glitch


Merrillville High School Recognized as Model School by ICLE

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The International Center for Leadership in Education (ICLE), an organization led by nationally recognized speaker and expert in education, Dr. Willard Daggett, has announced that Merrillville High School has been identified as a Model School for its annual Model School Conference this summer.
Since 1991, Dr. Willard R. (Bill) Daggett and the International Center for Leadership in Education have partnered with thousands of schools and school districts on sustainable whole school reform. Lessons learned from successful schools show that effective and sustained school improvement begins with creating a shared vision of the need for change; progresses to forming a consensus vision of learning and learners based on rigor, relevance, and relationships; and continues with translating beliefs about education into broad-based, but focused and measurable goals and actions.
The International Center’s work is based on the premise that students are living in a world that is changing dramatically and the education system needs to adapt to those changes in order to prepare students for the world in which they will live and work.
Common elements of Model Schools are:
 Embrace a Common Vision and Goals – Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships for ALL Students
 Inform Decisions Through Data Systems
 Empower Leadership Teams to Take Action and Innovate
 Clarify Student Learning Expectations
 Adopt Effective Instructional Practices
 Address Organizational Structures
 Monitor Student Progress/Improve Support Systems
 Refine Process on an Ongoing Basis
Association with ICLE began five years ago when Merrillville High School was selected among a group of four Northwest Indiana area high schools to receive a five year, $5 million federal grant. Under the leadership of Mrs. Lorri Covaciu, Merrillville High School Associate Principal and Project Manager for the Small Learning Communities Grant, Merrillville High School staff attended, participated and were trained in many of the educational practices endorsed by ICLE that have become an integral part of the Merrillville High School program (Rigor-Relevance-Relationship; Quadrant D real world application of instructional content; freshman mentoring and partnerships with Model Schools like Brockton High School in Massachusetts).
The effects of these programs and instructional practices have contributed to the achievements of Merrillville High School having received an “A” grade from the State of Indiana (the only large minority-majority high school to do so) and boasting a 90% graduation rate. Merrillville High School implementation of best practices related to a “Success is Our Only Option” philosophy have included a Rigor-Relevance-Relationship framework; trimester scheduling; and innovative diversity programs including its highly recognized S.T.A.N.D. (Socially Together and Naturally Diverse) club which are reflected in “The Merrillville Advantage”.
This summer Merrillville High School will be presenting at the annual Model Schools Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, from June 30 to July 3, as one of ICLE's Model Schools.
Dr. Tony Lux, Superintendent, has stated, “Recognition of Merrillville High School as an ICLE Model School is a tribute to the school’s administrative leadership and the incredible effort of staff, students and parents to accept the challenges to meet academic success. As with the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC) award, these recognitions reflect a systemic belief embraced by the entire school community, from School Board members through the entire staff, as to what is possible for all students when there is relentless support and high expectations.”...

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American Discovery Trail Now Connects with NW Indiana

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An announcement was made last week that will re-route the 68-hundred mile American Discovery Trail to include Northwest Indiana and the South Chicago Suburban region. Non-motorized Transportation Planner with NIRPC, Mitch Barlogo says it is still a huge mystery as to how and why our region was not included when the trail was laid out in the early 1990's, but says now that it is established the trail will enter the region from Cincinnati into southern Crown Point using lightly traveled, well maintained roadways.
The American Discovery Trail itself stretches from Delaware to California, and diverts into a northern and southern route in Cincinnati, Ohio, and reconnects in Denver, Colorado. To hear more of the interview, click News Audio On Demand, and for a link to view the map, visit
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Local Jackpot Win Claimed

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[Photo provided]
The Cash 5 jackpot hit in Michigan City last week has been claimed by a northwest Indiana father-of-three. Daymond Quick of Chesterton, an electrician in a steel mill, and his wife Mary Beth, who's a nurse, say they know exactly what they'll do with the nearly 149-thousand dollar financial boost. Their 18-year-old daughter got accepted at Columbia College for journalism, but after learning what it would cost, they say they had to tell her she couldn't go – until the lottery win. In addition to their Columbia-bound senior, the Quicks also have a 16-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter, and the whole family planned to do a little celebratory shopping over the weekend. Quick purchased his winning Cash 5 ticket at a Speedway on Franklin in Michigan City.

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'Every 15 Minutes' at Hobart HS

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A lot of emergency vehicles at Hobart High School today as part of a two-day exercise to illustrate the impact distracted driving and driving under the influence has on friends, families and the community. English teacher and theater director Cathy Nelson says the drill not only features mock crash scenes, along with a fly-in by the Lake County Sheriffs Helicopter, but also grim reminders all day. "Every 15 minutes, the students over the PA will hear the beginning strains of the song 'Hell's Bells' by AC/DC, the grim reaper will walk in, place a black rose on the desk of a student, that student will get up, and get on a gurney pushed in by our EMT students and be covered with a sheet, and then a police officer will step up and read that student's obituary," Nelson said. That student will then return to their classes later in 'death' makeup, dressed in black, and not communicating the rest of the day.  Participating students include those in theater, EMT and law enforcement classes. Hobart Police Public Information Officer Lt. Jack Grennes says it's a very involved exercise with a very serious message, "to get kids to realize the dangers of drinking and driving and also texting".   Tuesday will feature a memorial service and a visit from Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter.

Read more: 'Every 15 Minutes' at Hobart HS


Toddler Hurt in ATV Accident

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Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an ATV accident in White County that resulted in the amputation of all five toes from a toddler's foot. Authorities say Friday night the one-year-old was a passenger on an all-terrain vehicle being driven in their backyard by his eight-year-old brother. Officers say the toddler wasn't wearing shoes and his sock became entangled in the vehicle's chain, pulling his foot into the gear. The case remains under investigation.

Read more: Toddler Hurt in ATV Accident


Hamlet Woman Killed in Crash

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The La Porte County Coroner says a 20-year-old Hamlet woman was killed when her vehicle went off the end of the road of County Road 800 South where it connects with Range Road near Kingsford Heights in dense fog overnight. Emergency responders got a 911 call from a passerby shortly after 1 am, and Coroner John Sullivan says the victim, 20-year-old Amanda Lovins, had to be extricated her from the late model Ford Explorer and was pronounced dead at the scene of blunt force trauma.  Sullivan says Lovins was southbound on Range Road and failed to stop at the t-intersection with 800 South in very dense "pea-soup type fog, one or two car length visibility at the time, and also unfortunately alcohol played a factor in this accident also," Sullivan said, stating her blood alcohol level was allegedly over three-and-half-times the legal limit at .283.    US 6 is closed for railroad bridge repair in the Kingsford Heights region, so Range Road and 800 South is a short cut through the area.  We're told there were also a number of accident calls, minor accidents and slideoffs overnight across the area, also including Starke, Pulaski, Porter Counties, in the dense fog.

Read more: Hamlet Woman Killed in Crash


Valpo PD Investigate Grabbing Incident

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Valparaiso Police are investigating a reported incident of a 14 yr old female subject being grabbed by a male subject just before 9-o'clock Saturday night in the area of Eisenhower Avenue and Worthington Drive. Police say the girl was walking alone on the sidewalk, when a male subject leaning against a tree grabbed her shirt and said "come here". Police say the female victim pushed the subject away and ran from the area. The male subject was described as white, in his early 20's wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a "DC" emblem on the front of the sweatshirt.


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Purdue and IU FB Game Will Still Happen

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The Big Ten Conference has announced its football realignments, which places Purdue and Indiana in different divisions. The cross-division games will include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue. All schools in the East Division are in the eastern time zone and all schools in the West Division are in the central time zone with the exception of Purdue. The alignments are set to begin in 2014.
The changes were unanimously recommended by conference directors of athletics and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors. The new division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and Rutgers in the East Division and Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin in the West Division.  Each school will play the other six schools in its division plus two teams from the other division in 2014 and 2015, which will serve as transitional years in which the schools will still be playing eight-game schedules. Beginning in 2016, each school will play three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule.

Read more: Purdue and IU FB Game Will Still Happen


Lake Tax Vote Delayed

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A vote on a one-and-a-half percent local income tax didn't happen Friday after the Lake County Council said they failed to provide the proper advance notice. The vote was originally expected for May, then was moved up when a bill popped up downstate that would have directed the county how to spend the tax revenues, then late last week legislators decided not to go that route. The county council is still scheduled to meet May 14 for their regular meeting. Meanwhile, a bill lifting the Lake County property tax levy freeze heads to the Governor's desk. The county's been living with the freeze since 2007 for failing to pass a local income tax. Lake is the only Indiana county without one.

Read more: Lake Tax Vote Delayed


Jackson Wrongful Death Suit to Trial

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A wrongful death lawsuit brought by Michael Jackson's mother goes to trial today in a Los Angeles courtroom. Authorities say the pop star and Gary native died nearly four years ago of a fatal combination of sedatives and the anesthetic propofol. .Catherine Jackson is seeking billions of dollars from concert promoter AEG Live.  ABC News legal analyst Royal Oakes says in the opening, "lawyers for the Jackson family will claim A-E-G hired Dr. Murray, promised to pay them a massive sum of 150-thousand dollars a month and in return pressured him to make sure Michael was concert-ready even if it meant risking the singer's life."

Read more: Jackson Wrongful Death Suit to Trial


County Government Study in Bill

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One of nearly a-hundred bills Indiana Governor Pence has already signed calls for state lawmakers to study the possibility of changing the structure of county government, placing all executive powers in a single county executive rather than having a board of commissioners... and also placing all legislative and fiscal powers with the county council, as is already the case in Lake and St. Joseph Counties.

Read more: County Government Study in Bill


Hearing for Murder Suspect

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Another hearing is this Friday in Lake County court for an Alsip, Illinois, man accused of killing Griffith businesswoman Mary Austgen. Police have charged 57-year-old Ralph Martinez with murder, robbery and criminal confinement in the kidnapping and shooting death of the 76-year-old St. John resident, who was found in a Gary casino parking garage in March. A preliminary not guilty plea was entered last Friday. Police have said a motive has not yet been determined, and they continue to investigate.

Read more: Hearing for Murder Suspect


Mushroom Hunters Lost Then Found

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Indiana Conservation Officers remind anyone who enters a wooded area to let someone know where you're going and when you'll be returning after getting a call of two lost mushroom hunters at Pedestal Rock Nature Preserve in Waveland Sunday. The two, from Illinois, were in a remote area near Shades State Park and couldn't find their way back to their vehicle. Conservation officers were able to use their in-car computer to plot their GPS coordinates on a map from the 911 call from their cell phone, and the two were located, safe, within about a half-hour.

Read more: Mushroom Hunters Lost Then Found


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