In addition to the 15-million in collections the Northern District of Indiana, working with its federal law enforcement partners, collected another six-point-eight million in asset forfeiture actions in Fiscal year 2013. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and are distributed to local police departments to supplement local law enforcement efforts. ...
In Michigan City, the snow removal parking restrictions that were set in place on Saturday have been lifted as of 4:30 this afternoon. Officials report normal parking rules and regulations are back in effect and Mayor Ron Meer wants to thank the citizens of Michigan City for their help and cooperation during the snow removal process. ...
Temperatures in northwest Indiana have increased and with the chance of rain this weekend brings the possibility of minor street and localized flooding. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says, at this time, forecasts do not predict the significant flooding that some parts of the state experienced last month, but some localized flooding, especially in low lying areas, may occur this weekend. A flood warning for the Kankakee River at Shelby has been issued from Saturday morning until further notice.
Residents can help prevent street flooding by making sure storm drains are not blocked by snow or debris.
If you live near bodies of water (ponds, rivers, streams, etc.)
· Be aware that water levels can change rapidly and flooding can begin with little or no warning.
· Monitor local weather and river forecasts and keep an eye on any waterways along roads near your residence.
· Consider evacuating in advance of flooding if you think rising water may cut off your access routes to and from home.
On the road
· Never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Water can conceal dips, or worse, flood waters can damage roadways, washing away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground.
· Do not drive around barricades at water crossings. They are there to protect the public. Disregarding warning signs and attempting to cross flooded roads endangers everyone in the vehicle as well as the first responders who may need to come to the aid of those that are stranded.
· Remember, just a few inches of moving water is enough to carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
· Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize high water danger.
For more flood safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov....
(Photo Courtesy of Karl Berner)
An investigation continues into a house fire in Hammond Wednesday night in the 600 block of Sibley Street that left three young children dead and three others injured. Hammond Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they got word today that the 28 year old father, who was able to save the two other children in the home and reportedly had suffered third-degree burns, will survive and the two children who were also hospitalized are doing well.
A preliminary investigation points to two space heaters being a factor in the fire. Hammond Chief Fire Inspector, Michael Opinker told the Region News Team on Thursday that at least one space heater was connected to a propane tank and was being used to heat the lower level of the home, which had no electricity or gas. ...
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that the Hammond Fire Department is one of three in the state to receive FEMA's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grants. According to the press release, the Hammond Fire Department will receive 965-thousand dollars. Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they are very grateful to be awarded a grant of this magnitude.
Donnelly said, “Indiana’s firemen and women are some of the bravest and hardest working members of our community. I am proud to see these departments receive the federal support they need. This grant money will help them serve their communities much more safely and efficiently by allowing them to hire additional fire fighters. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve our support.”
The SAFER grant program was created to increase the number of trained fire fighters available to communities in need. More information about these competitive grants can be found at http://www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants.
For more information on how Senator Donnelly’s office can assist groups applying for federal grants, please visit http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/help/grants....
Fire crews from the Valparaiso Fire Department are on the scene of a car fire that was first reported around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart located at 2400 Morthland Dr. No one was reported inside the vehicle at the time of the fire.
Traffic tipsters reported that black smoke from the fire could been seen from some distance and attracted a lot of curious on- lookers.
(photo/Radio One Communications)
Crews are on the scene of a crash reportedly involving a pick up truck and a jackknifed semi truck in Merrillville. INDOT is reporting that the two left lanes northbound I-65 are blocked at this time between 101st Avenue and US 30.
Tipsters are reporting traffic backed up to US 231 the Crown Point exit with a gapers slowdown SB I-65 from US-30.
Drivers should seek an alternate route including US231 to State Rd. 55/Broadway or 109th Avenue to Colorado Street to US30 back to I-65, or 109th Avenue to Broadway to US30 back to I-65.
Police in LaPorte are investigating a hit-and-run accident involving a car and semi that occurred just after 5pm Thursday in the 13-hundred block of State Road 2 West. LaPorte Police say the victim informed officers he was driving west on State Road 2, in the outside lane, with a semi traveling next to him on the inside lane, when as they neared the entrance to Kabelin's Ace Hardware the semi allegedly started to make a right turn into his path of travel and the trailer struck the front driver's side of his vehicle. Police report the impact sent the victim's vehicle into a snow bank and that the semi continued into the lot of Ace Hardware and then left the scene. No injuries were reported and anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the LaPorte Police Department at 362-9446 and you can remain anonymous. ...
The 28-hundred block of Highway Avenue in Highland, from Kennedy Avenue to 4th Street has been reopened to motorists this afternoon after heavy snow accumulated on the front canopy of Bibles for Missions, causing the canopy and the front facade of the storefront to collapse on the sidewalk in front of the building. Highland Police Commander George Georgeff says pedestrian traffic on the north side of the 28-hundred block of Highway Avenue have been blocked off in front of those businesses.
Commander Georgeff says they have made contact with some other building owners who are now in the process of removing snow from the canopies in front of their businesses. He also recommends anyone with a flat roof in Lake County should consider addressing any large amounts of snow as the rain could add weight and compromise buildings that are not structurally sound. The incident occurred around 10am this morning....
As temps rise in the Region, so does the possibility of potholes. Weather experts say Region residents can expect a high threat of potholes forming as the temperatures of road pavement also go above freezing, causing it to contract. When water freezes, it expands and forces the pavement upwards. Additionally, rain and melting snow today could fill potholes with water, masking them to look like puddles. See the above graphic from the US National Weather Service in Chicago explaining the pothole process at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=639714289418942&set=a.170461579677551.41001.164132806977095&type=1&theater ...
As severe winter weather begins to subside, the American Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to help offset a weather-related shortfall in donations. Approximately 280 blood drives across 25 states were canceled across the U.S. due to snow and extreme cold. The blood drive cancellations resulted in a shortfall of nearly 8, 400 blood and platelet donations since Jan. 2. In Northern Indiana, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of more than 30 Red Cross blood drives, resulting about significantly fewer than expected blood and platelet donations over the past four days.
“It’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives when severe weather hits,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “Thanks to generous Red Cross blood and platelet donors, blood products were available for patients who still needed transfusions despite the weather. Now we invite those previously ‘frozen out’ from giving blood or platelets to come in soon.”
Platelet donors, as well as blood donors with the most in-demand blood types — O positive and negative, A negative and B negative — are urgently needed to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to offset the shortfall.
Platelets, a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, must be transfused within five days of donation, so donations are constantly needed. Red blood cells, the oxygen carrying component of blood, are the most widely transfused blood product and must be transfused within 42 days.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
Friday, Jan. 17, from 1:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Portage in the Fellowship Hall, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage.
Monday, Jan. 20, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Teresa of Avila in the Catholic Student Center, located at 1604 Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Opportunity Enterprises in the Meeting Room, located at 2801 Evans Ave. in Valparaiso.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Kouts High School in the gymnasium foyer, located at 302 E. College Ave. in Kouts.
Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 12:30 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Portage Christian School, located at 3040 Arlene St. in Portage. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
Friday, Jan. 24, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the YMCA of Portage, located at 3100 Willowcreek Road in Portage.
Friday, Jan. 24, from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in the Cafeteria, located at 1600 Roosevelt Road in Valparaiso. Come to donate at this Future Blood Donors blood drive and receive an American Red Cross water bottle.
Saturday, Jan. 25, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Walmart, located at 2400 Morthland Drive in Valparaiso.
Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hebron Elementary School in the Cafeteria, located at 307 S. Main St. in Hebron. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
Thursday, Jan. 30, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at South Haven Elementary School in the gymnasium, located at 395 Midway Drive in Valparaiso. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
Thursday, Jan. 30, from 9 a.m. until noon at Lakeside Wealth Management, located at 407 W. Indiana Ave. in Chesterton.
Thursday, Jan. 30, from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Indiana Furniture and Mattress, located at 1807 E. Lincolnway in Valparaiso.
Thursday, Jan. 30, from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Wheeler High School in the gymnasium, located at 587 West 300 North in Valparaiso.
Friday, Jan. 31, from 10 a.m. until noon at Addison Pointe Health and Rehabilitation Center, located at 780 Dickinson Road in Chesterton.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross....
Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson has been appointed vice chair of the National League of Cities (NLC) 2014 Public Safety & Crime Prevention Steering Committee. The committee has the lead responsibility for developing NLC federal policy positions on issues involving crime prevention, corrections, substance abuse, municipal fire policy, juvenile justice, disaster preparedness and relief, homeland security, domestic terrorism, court systems and gun control. The appointment was announced by NLC President Chris Coleman, mayor, St. Paul, Minn. “I am honored to serve in this very important role,” said Freeman-Wilson. “I will be working alongside knowledgeable colleagues where we will share ideas and experiences that will ultimately elevate public safety and crime prevention in our respective communities.”
As vice chair of the committee, Freeman-Wilson will play a key role in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of America’s cities and towns before Congress, with the Administration and at home. The chair of this year’s Public Safety & Crime Prevention Steering Committee is Scott Somers, councilmember, Mesa, Ariz. Serving with Freeman-Wilson as vice chair is Scott Maddox, commissioner, Tallahassee, Fla. For more information on NLC’s other committees and councils, visit http://www.nlc.org/influence-federal-policy/policy-committees [Photo provided/City of Gary]...
A northwest Indiana native was among four US service members killed in an US Air Force helicopter crash that occurred during a training mission Tuesday night on the coast of Norfolk in England, officials say. The Defense Department said Technical Sgt. Dale Mathews is from Rolling Prairie. The three other aircrew members killed were identified as Capt. Christopher Stover, Capt. Sean Ruane, and Staff Sgt. Afton Ponce. The US Air Force says an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter carries a four-person aircrew: a pilot, co-pilot, and two special mission aviators who are qualified as both gunners and flight engineers. On this particular mission, a statement from the 48th Fighter Wing said Stover and Ruane were the pilots, and Mathews and Ponce were the special mission aviators. The helicopter was assigned to the 48th Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force base Lakenheath in England. The accident remains under investigation. "We continue to think of the loved ones who are experiencing such a tragic, sudden loss," said Col. Kyle Robinson, 48th Fighter Wing commander. "The Liberty Wing feels as though it has lost members of its family, and we stand by to support one another and these Airmen's families during this difficult time." [Pictured, right: Tech. Sgt. Dale Mathews, special mission aviator, 56th Rescue Squadron/U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Stephanie Mancha]...
Families with real, unwanted Christmas trees are being asked to drop them now until January 12th at the funeral home, located 613 Washington Street in Michigan City or at the LaPorte County Fairgrounds in front of the horse arena. McNeal says everyone is welcome to the event where free popcorn and hot chocolate will be provided. ...
- LaPorte PD Seek Help to Find Wanted Man
- General Assembly Issues Valpo Chamber Supports
- FEMA Denies Federal Aid to 9 IL Counties Hit by Tornadoes
- Arrest of Stolen Vehicle Suspects Leads to Stolen Property
- Bus Service to Lake Hills in Michigan City Suspended
- Work Release Escapee Arrested for Theft
- ISP Lifts Travel Restriction for Oversize Loads
- Businesses/Residents Asked to Clear Snowy Sidewalks
- UPDATE: No Injuries in Liberty Twp House Fire
- AUDIO/VIDEO: Coats on Income Inequality
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