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Lake County Considers Tax Options

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Lake County is the only county of 92 in Indiana without a local option income tax – the Lake County Council is taking another look at that option... and a possible so-called “wheel tax” as ways to generate funds. Today's Times reports the county is having Indiana University analyze tax-wise what's available, given the county's property tax freeze that came about because Lake County has not adopted the local income tax. A wheel tax, meanwhile, could be a flat tax or based on a percentage of a veh...

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House Approves Bill to Let Griffith Leave Calumet Twp

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Griffith is one-step closer to possibly being able to leave Calumet Township, after the Indiana House today approved the House Bill 15-85. The Times reports the Northwest delegation vote was split, with six representatives voting “yes”, and seven voting “no”. A recent investigation by the Times found that each year, Calumet Township spends 45-million dollars on administration to distribute 64-million in relief to the poor, which reportedly is the highest proportion of any Indiana township. The l...

Read more: House Approves Bill to Let Griffith Leave Calumet Twp

 

Senate Approves Bill to Increase Consumer Protection

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Senator Jim Arnold
A bill to make buyers more aware of vehicles previously used as mobile meth labs has passed the full Senate, and now heads to the House for further consideration. Senate Bill 277, co-authored by Democratic Senator Jim Arnold, of LaPorte, would require sales persons who have knowledge of vehicle's use in methamphetamine production to disclose that information, in writing, prior to the sale, while those who are unaware will not be held responsible. Those who fail to comply may face civil action,...

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Indictment Returned Against Gary Woman

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A 41 year old Gary woman was charged in an indictment with embezzlement and theft of funds of a labor union. The U-S Attorney's Office announced that Tracey Tigner had an indictment returned on February 7th, which was unsealed today in Hammond. Tigner is accused of embezzlement and theft from the Painters District Council 91 of the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades, as the result of an investigation by the U-S Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, as well as by the...

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NIRPC Participation Plan Extended through March 29th

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The Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning is developing a revised Public Participation Plan, updating the Participation Plan that was adopted in 2007.  The new Plan reflects NIRPC’s continuing commitment to reach out to and engage residents in the regional planning and decision-making processes relative to NIRPC’s three planning domains of transportation, economic development and the environment.  The Plan has been in development for over 8 months, with the advice and guidance of a Task Force...

Read more: NIRPC Participation Plan Extended through March 29th

 

Crown Point Fire-Rescue has Open Volunteer Position

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Crown Point Fire-Rescue is looking for some volunteers. The City's website reports the fire department is accepting applications for a volunteer firefighter. Those interested must be at least 18 years old, be a resident of Crown Point or Center Township, able to pass a medical and physical exam, have a valid driver's license, with a good driving record, complete an intensive training program, and submit to a background check. Applications, which are due by February 15th, at 4pm, can be found at...

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Highland Setting Stage for New PD Station?

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A new police station could be in store for Highland. The Times reports the Highland Town Council Monday night approved authorizing two professional appraisals of a property on the 33-hundred block of Ridge Road, which could potentially clear the way for a new police station, since this acquisition would clear the land from the Town Hall west to Cottage Grove Avenue. Published reports say town officials will revisit a 2003 study which laid out plans for a new station, measuring about 26-thousand...

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Portage Garage Burglary Uncovers Drug Sale Operation

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(Photo Courtesy of Portage Police)


Officers responding to a burglary call over the weekend ended up uncovering an illicit drug sale operation. Portage Police report they were called out just before 7am Saturday, to the 57-hundred block of Brookview Avenue, in Portage, in reference to a burglary to a garage, where officers ultimately learned a 17 year old male was selling drugs, and 18 year old Seth White, of Valparaiso, had allegedly stolen drugs from the garage. White, and an 18 year old male who admitted to driving White to...

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Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

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Michael Bleck
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake County Coroner's Office)
The Lake County Coroner's Office needs your help in locating any possible friends or family of Michael Bleck. Coroner Merrilee Frey says they have exhausted all leads in locating any family members, after her office responded to the 52-hundred block of Hohman Avenue in Hammond, and found Bleck dead on January 4th. The Coroner's Office describes Bleck as last seen wearing a black ski jacket, blue jeans, a light blue long sleeve shirt, with...

Read more: Lake Co Coroner Seeks Help in Finding Victim's Family

 

Fire in Hallway of E.C. Apt Complex Under Investigation

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A fire in the hallway of a eight-unit apartment building in East Chicago is under investigation at last check. Chief Inspector Henry Ventura, of the East Chicago Fire Department, says they were dispatched at 2:46 this morning to the 44-hundred block of Indianapolis Blvd, and found flames on the third floor, in front of the stairwell. Chief Inspector Ventura says the fire was contained to the hallway, and while there were no injuries, there was smoke damage, and he says the Red Cross and the...

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Valpo Looking Forward to Strategic Plan

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Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas is quoted in today's Times as saying it's “the most involved and interactive process any city has undertaken” referring to the development of a strategic plan for the city, one that will involve “extensive interaction” with residents to envision what Valpo would be a decade or two down the road. At last night's city council meeting, attendees learned the city has opted for a consulting team headed by ACP Visioning and Planning out of Columbus, Ohio, to develop that plan, with their work be...

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Latest ISP 'Road Show' at Region News on Demand

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The 15 minute talk show concentrates on public safety and informational topics with state wide interest.  The radio program was titled “Signal-10” in the early sixties when it was first started by two troopers in northern Indiana. The name was later changed to the “Indiana State Police Road Show” and is the longest continuously aired state police public service program in Indiana.  The public service program is sponsored by the Indiana State Police Alliance and Cops for Kids, a subsidiary of the...

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Two Arrested After Valparaiso Burglary

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In Valparaiso early this morning, two men were taken into custody in connection with a burglary at the BP Amoco station on Calumet Avenue. Valparaiso Police say officers responded just after midnight and within five hours made two arrests on charges of burglary, criminal mischief for the broken glass, and possession of stolen property.
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Woman Killed on Bishop Ford Freeway Overnight

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Near Dolton overnight, Illinois State Police say a 27-year-old Chicago woman apparently fell from a southbound SUV on the Bishop Ford Freeway before being struck and killed by a semi. Police tell www.nwi.com  the victim was ejected at 154th Street. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV, a 28-year-old Chicago man, was reportedly taken to an Oak Lawn hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and no charges have been filed at this time.
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Gov Pence Announces Pay Raises Take Effect

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence today announced the distribution of the state's pay for performance raises that will appear on this week's paycheck. Former Governor Mitch Daniels authorized the increases last December to recognize the work of state employees throughout last year, and Governor Pence says he plans to continue to award pay raises based on employee performance. Raises granted range from three to eight percent, based on evaluations, which the overall average increase being...

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Indiana Flu Deaths Increase to 52

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The Indiana State Department of Health says flu deaths have now increased to 52, five more than the weekly report issued last Wednesday; one individual was under 18 and one was over 65. Also, two counties now have five or more deaths – Marion County has had six deaths, Allen County has had five deaths.  The Indiana State Department of Health does not report the number of deaths in each county until five deaths have occurred in a specific county.
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Gary/Chicago Airport Partnership Considered

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Is the Gary/Chicago International Airport thinking about taking on a partner? An ad hoc committee has been named to report back with recommendations in a couple of months . Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined Airport Authority President Nathaniel Williams announced an intergovernmental agreement Monday to pursue a public-private partnership to invest in the airport.
Here's more info from the Mayor's Office:
GARY, IND., Feb. 11, 2013– Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined Gary/Chicago I...

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Pilot Dental Program to Help Region Children

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A one-point-three million federal grant will fund a pilot program where dental hygienists help prevent cavities in Region kids from low-income families. Dr. Angeles Martinez-Mier , Director of the IU School of Dentistry's Division of Community Dentistry. says the program marks the first use of a change to Indiana law governing dental hygienists.  What makes it different is that in the past, Dr. Martinez-Mier said, the dentists had to be there when dental hygienists place the sealant. Now as...

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Structure Fire in East Chicago

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The Region News Team learned of a structure fire in East Chicago early this morning. The fire had Indianapolis Boulevard closed between 143rd and 144th Avenues.  At latest word, Indianapolis Boulevard had reopened.  We have no other information on the fire at this hour.
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Gas Prices Up in the Region and the US

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Triple A's Fuel Gauge Report says Region drivers are paying on average about 3-dollars-80-cents a gallon for regular unleaded in the Gary Metropolitan Area... about 55-cents more compared to a month ago... and about forty-cents more than we were paying this time last year.
Drivers around the country are feeling a pinch at the pump, with the average price for a gallon of gas going up twenty-five cents in just two weeks. According to Oil analyst Tom Kloza with the Oil Price Information Service,...

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