The city of Valparaiso is making plans to replant a particular spruce tree at Forest Park and give her a new home at the new five-points roundabout. Valparaiso Director of Project and Facility Management Don McGinley says the tree is in the way of a path that's being built, and parks officials want to move the tree to the island at the roundabout rather than lose the tree. McGinley says they're trying to coordinate removing the tree possibly as early as this weekend and transplanting in the middle of next week. The twenty-foot tree is one of the trees that were in downtown Valpo back in the 1980s decorated during the holiday season and later planted in the city parks. The city is now planning to decorate her again this holiday season, after she's moved, in a special tree-lighting and roundabout opening ceremony in late November. [Photo Courtesy/Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission]
Indiana Governor Mike Pence received his flu shot this week.
The shot was administered at the Governor's Office in Indianapolis Thursday, where Governor Pence was joined by a Kroger pharmacist who gave the shot and State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess. [Photos/Indiana Governor's Office]...
The Rev. Anthony Janik, spiritual care services director at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, who was involved in formulation of the program, said it expands chaplains’ opportunities to deal with spiritual distress issues and assistance requests.
“We can help people find answers to their grief and depression, to their concerns over chronic illnesses, end-of-life issues, crises of faith, or their intentions for loved ones who may be ill or have been in an accident. We can help by offering coping mechanisms; we want to help bring a resolution to their difficulty.”
Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer chaplain Augustine Duru, who originated the proposal locally, said he learned of similar programs being conducted elsewhere and thought the idea would well serve Franciscan Alliance, as time and technology have evolved.
“I thought our system could benefit from electronic platforms for in-house and outpatients and the community in general. This creates a listening ear; another opportunity for engagement and outreach, for people we can’t reach physically,” Duru said, adding, “We offer prayer, support and confidentiality for people when they need it most.”
To become certified, chaplains must complete one year of clinical pastoral education training, followed by continuing education and recertification every five years.
E-mail contact forms are available by visiting the websites of Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Michigan City, Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer and Hammond and Franciscan Healthcare-Munster. Visitors should click on “Patients & Visitors” and then on “e-chaplaincy,” found on the left side of the page, under “As A Patient.”
Chaplains are available daily to compile requests and to respond as needed....
The full text of the letter is below:
October 25, 2013
Dear Superintendent Ritz,
In the interest of transparent dialogue about the future of education in Indiana, we are offering this open letter requesting that you join us in starting anew to work on behalf of the students and schools that we all care about deeply.
We, the members of the State Board of Education, are teachers, school administrators, professors and professionals in higher education and business. We are bipartisan, and we don’t believe politics have any business in education. We work every day to give students new opportunities in our own classrooms, schools, institutions of higher education and communities.
We did not run for elected office, but when we were called upon to serve the students, teachers and schools in this state as members of the State Board of Education, we were humbled and honored to answer the call. We would have been happy to work to better education in Indiana in relative obscurity, as we have no higher aspiration than to ensure our state and our children have access to the best education possible.
Now we find ourselves embroiled in a lawsuit. Named individually as defendants and accused of having a secret meeting that never took place. While you have access to in-house representation, we do not.
As you know, the State Board of Education has a statutory responsibility for developing education policy in this state. We appreciate your expression on Thursday of your respect for us as individuals. We respect your role as the chair of our board and your statutory obligation as the head of the Indiana Department of Education. However, the State Board of Education is a shared governance board, and we ask that you respect our duties as board members as well.
Superintendent, you have said repeatedly that you have worked to communicate openly with us. And yet, we have been continually frustrated by our emails and requests that go unanswered, missed deadlines, and a lack of progress on issues that are critical to the success of our students and our schools. However, in the interest of our students—the future of our state—we are ready to set that aside and start over.
On Thursday in your press conference you stated: “I look forward to continuing to work to improve education for all Indiana students in a fair, transparent and collaborative manner.” We share that goal, but actions speak louder than words. If you truly want to work in a collaborative manner, then we ask that you drop this lawsuit, put politics aside, and come to the table ready to put the interests of students, teachers and schools first.
It is time to get to work. We welcome your assistance on education policy, and we look forward to your response....
Reality Store thespians will be able to attend a training session on Thursday, November 14, 2013 at Indiana Wesleyan University starting at 5:30pm to help you become acquainted with your starring role.
Hear more information from Michael White, Indiana Wesleyan University, here online at News Audio on Demand....
An East Chicago man is sentenced to 17-in-a-half years of jail time with an additional 25-years supervised release after pleading guilty this week in Hammond Federal Court to the felony offense of distribution of child pornography.
According to court documents, during an online Internet investigation to identify persons possessing and sharing child pornography, an IP address belonging to the residence of 37 year-old man was found to be sharing files containing material depicting minors under the age of 16 engaged in sexual acts of poses. A search warrant executed at his home found that he possessed at least 60 child pornographic videos.
The man also has a prior conviction for possession of child pornography in Marion County in 2005, according to reports.
This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Indiana State Police, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Highland Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill Koster....
Overnight road work Saturday, October 26,2013 that will cause overnight closures near the Lowell State Road 2 exit on I-65. INDOT announces the overnight closure of the State Road 2 entrance ramp to southbound I-65 starting around 8p.m. Saturday night through 5a.m. Sunday morning for ramp repaving work. In addition, the right lane of southbound I-65 will be closed near the State Road 2 exit. Traffic looking to access southbound I-65 from State Road 2 will detoured east on State Road 2, south on US 231, west on State Road 10, and back to I-65.
Traffic wishing to access southbound I-65 from SR 2 will be detoured east on SR 2, south on U.S. 231, west on SR 10, and back to I-65.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like them at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow INDOT at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest....
Read more about the story at: http://www.nwitimes.com/entertainment/movies/cnn-airs-whale-movie-focusing-on-death-of-region-native/article_b581e3dd-5262-52f3-938b-e707d75a82f9.html...
“This was one of many similar cases this boating season that we used this rescue approach to reach stranded boaters in Lake Calumet,” said Petty Officer 2nd Class John Palmer, the officer of the day for Station Calumet Harbor. “We encourage all boaters to make sure they are aware of proper navigational channels in this area, and to be sure they follow navigational charts.”...
News Release from Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller:
INDIANAPOLIS – The Medical Licensing Board of Indiana voted Thursday to adopt a new rule concerning physicians who prescribe addictive pain medications to nonterminal patients.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the rule aims to ensure patients are well informed about their prescriptions and physicians closely monitor patients to identify cases of misuse and abuse. A recent study by Trust for America’s Health revealed the number of deaths caused by overdoses in Indiana has quadrupled since 1999.
This year, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation charging the board with developing new rules regarding prescribing controlled substances and strengthening the authority of the Attorney General’s office to inspect physician records in overprescribing cases. The two emergency rules stem in part from recommendations made by the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force which Zoeller launched last year.
“Thanks to the hard work by the state’s Medical Licensing Board and to the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, Indiana is making great strides in the battle against prescription drug abuse,” Zoeller said. “By ensuring physicians are educating and closely monitoring patients and Hoosier patients are well informed, we can help stop cases of doctor shopping and even overprescribing.”
Beginning Dec. 15, physicians will be required to monitor certain patient’s history via the state’s drug monitoring system called INSPECT which reveals what medications have been prescribed to a patient. Zoeller said this check can prevent someone from “doctor shopping” or obtaining multiple prescriptions for the same drug from different physicians.
The board also adopted a new rule giving the Attorney General’s office the ability to more efficiently review physician records regarding controlled substances. Zoeller said this helps his office during investigations of physicians who may be overprescribing.
Since January of last year, Zoeller’s office has filed complaints or summary suspensions against more than 15 doctors for overprescribing.
The goal of the task force is to significantly reduce the abuse of controlled prescription drugs and to decrease the number of deaths associated with these drugs in Indiana. The task force also makes recommendations for new rules, regulations and state statutes to the Indiana General Assembly.
The task force in conjunction with the Indiana State Medical Association will soon release a physician toolkit which will help doctors navigate the new emergency rules. Zoeller’s office will also host the fourth annual Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium on Nov. 1 where health officials will discuss Indiana’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and learn more about the impact of the new rules.
Zoeller also thanked the Indiana State Medical Association for their work on developing the emergency rules and physician toolkit.
This year, Zoeller and the task force launched a new website, www.BitterPill.IN.gov, and a statewide public awareness campaign which includes radio and TV commercials about prescription drug abuse. The website serves as a one-stop-shop for consumers to find information about the epidemic and how to get help....
The opening round 4A high school football sectional game tonight [Oct 25] between Lowell and Gary West Side was recently moved from West Side to East Chicago Central High School, due to concerns over field conditions, including reportedly problems with some lights. A representative from the Indiana High School Athletic Association traveled up to Gary last week....
The Clerk/Treasurer's Office in Cedar Lake is holding their second annual Trunk Or Treat Food Drive this Saturday! Be sure to bring you ghosts and goblins to the Government Complex for some Trunk or Treating fun. They only ask you bring a non-perishable food item to donate to those in need to participate. For more on the event, check out Annie Fox's interview with Cedar Lake Clerk/Treasurer Amy Gross at News Audio On Demand here on our website....
For a list of sites visit www.dea.gov .
“State and local efforts alone won’t be enough to end Indiana’s prescription drug abuse epidemic,” Zoeller said. "That’s why we are calling on Hoosiers to do their part and safely dispose of their unwanted medications. This can help keep pills off of the streets and out of the wrong hands.”
“During the past take-back initiative, Indiana residents turned in 11.5 tons of medication at 83 locations and we hope to surpass that number this time,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern, who oversees DEA operations in Indiana. “We are urging residents to clear out expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs in the home so that they will be properly disposed of and not be potentially diverted to illicit use and abuse.”
Zoeller provided four tips for Hoosiers when storing or disposing of unwanted medications:
- Do not keep medications past their expiration date or intended period of use. Young children or pets might ingest medication if they find it which can lead to accidental poisoning. Avoid an accident by keeping unused medications out of your house;
- Avoid throwing medications away in the trash. As the epidemic of prescription drug abuse grows, theft becomes more common. This includes identity theft from the personal information on prescription bottles. Dealers and addicts will even go through your trash;
- Do not flush medications or pour them down the sink. Flushing your unused medication or pouring it down the drain contaminates Indiana’s waterways. This can have devastating results on the fish and aquatic wildlife of these ecosystems; and
- Never give or sell your prescribed medication to others as it is not only misuse, it is illegal. Legally prescribed medication is not permitted to be shared or transferred to others, because many of these drugs have harmful side effects and their use can lead to addiction. Misuse and abuse come with significant risks — including death.
This year, Zoeller and the task force launched a new website, www.BitterPill.IN.gov , and a statewide public awareness campaign which includes radio and TV commercials about prescription drug abuse. The website is described as a one-stop-shop for consumers to find information about the epidemic and how to get help....
Putbulls once know as the nanny breed for their loyalty and family friendly demeanor have now been miscatigorized as bullies. Now "Bully" is not just a term used to describe human behavior, but to mislabel dogs. Breeds like Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and especially Pitbulls are often stigmatized as dangerous or agressive and put in the "Bully" category. The Annual Coast to Coast Bully Walk is an all-breed national walk held to fight for the rights of families and their dogs who are sterotyped as bullies.
Listen to Audio On Demand here on our website for information on The Porter County Animal Shelter's local Bully Walk. You can take part this weekend and help end the negative sterotypes associated with these loveable pets....
Look for extended restrictions at the Lake Station Indiana Toll Road exit beginning this Monday [Oct 28 2013] at Milepost 21 as ramp bridges will be replaced where the Indiana Toll Road, Borman Expressway and State Road 51 converge. The project begins with the closure of the westbound exit ramp to Interstate 94, marking the start of ITR Concession Company’s extensive reconstruction of the Lake Station ramp structures. The closure of the Lake Station westbound exit ramp will last about a year-and-a-half. The entire existing bridge deck and superstructure, along with the concrete pier caps, will be removed. Traffic seeking to exit at Milepost 21 will be diverted to Exit 17, Gary East to take I-65 south and reconnect with I-94. Exits 17 and Exit 21 on the toll road are both free exits. The entire project is expected to be completed in April 2015. [Image/ITC Concession Co.]
LAKE STATION, Ind. – Beginning Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, extended restrictions will be in place at the Lake Station Exit (Milepost 21) on the Indiana Toll Road.
The project begins with the closure of the westbound exit ramp (from ITR to I-94), and marks the beginning of ITR Concession Co.’s extensive reconstruction of the Lake Station ramp structures. It will include repairing or replacing various elements of three structures within the exit: BHX-A, BHX-B and Structure 5262 (see attached map for clarification). Each will be removed and rebuilt with the same configurations and footprints of the existing structures. Upon completion, the interchange will function as it did prior to the project. No permanent removal of any structure is planned.
The closure of the MP 21 westbound exit ramp (BHX-B) will begin on Monday, Oct. 28, and will last approximately 1.5 years. The entire existing bridge deck and superstructure, along with the concrete pier caps, will be removed. After BHX-B is removed, BHX-A (located beneath BHX-B) will be removed and rebuilt. Concurrently, Str. 5262 will be rebuilt (it is anticipated that one lane will remain open on Str. 5262 during construction). After BHX-A is removed and rebuilt, BHX-B will then be rebuilt.
Beginning Oct. 28, westbound traffic seeking to exit at MP 21 will be diverted to Exit 17, Gary East. At Gary East, patrons are to take I-65 south and re-connect with I-94. Exit 17 remains a free exit, just as Exit 21.
“ITRCC is pleased to announce the necessary improvements being made to the Lake Station Exit,” said Fernando Redondo, ITRCC CEO. “The rebuilding of these structures will undoubtedly make for smoother travel for patrons.
“We ask that drivers please be patient during this closure, as we believe the end product will be well worth the wait,” he said.
Construction on BHX-A and Str. 5262 are tentatively scheduled to begin in February 2014; notices will be sent at that time. The entire process is expected to be completed in April 2015....
An East Chicago woman escaped serious injury when a semi looses its load of lumber on top of her car while traveling northbound on interstate 65 Thursday afternoon.
The Indiana State Police say a preliminary investigation shows that around 3p.m. a semi pulling a flat bed loaded with lumber, driven by a Salem, Indiana man took the ramp curve from northbound I-65 onto westbound 80/94 too fast causing his load of lumber to shift and his semi-flat bed start to roll-over.
Reports say a Nissan driven by the 31 year-old East Chicago woman, was in the right lane next to the semi when she realized the truck was starting to loose its load and beginning to roll-over. Troopers say she was able to lie across her car's console toward the passenger side when part of the load of lumber landed on the driver's side top crushing it.
The woman was taken to a Hobart hospital with non-life threatening injuries. She was wearing a seat belt. The truck driver, who was also wearing a seat belt, was treated and released at the scene. He was cited for Speed Too Fast to Avoid a Collision and an Unsecured Load.
The semi is owned by Stonebelt Freight Lines out of Bloomington, Indiana.
The accident created a massive backup on all northbound lanes of I-65 with the ramp closed for nearly six hours. The delay mainly caused by the off-loading and re-loading of the lumber.
(photo/ provided by ISP)...
Chief Brickner announced his candidacy in a chilly, 40 degree afternoon at Central Park, although warm beverages and snacks were offered. The police chief addressed the audience saying "Ten years ago when I took over as Chief of Police the office of Chief was held by the same administration for 20 years." Brickner said "at that time I stated, it is time for change, time for a new direction." He added, "In regard to Porter County Sheriff, it is time for change and definitely time for a new direction and that direction is forward."
You can hear Chief Brickner's entire address by clicking on the News Audio On Demand link at: https://www.regionnewsteam.com...
While Valparaiso's city wide trick-or-treat is set for Thursday, October 31st from 5:30pm to 7:30p.m., the city's Downtown Fall Harvest festival trick-or-treat is scheduled for Friday, October 25th from 4pm to 6pm. Valparaiso Police remind drivers and visitors to downtown that Lincolnway will be closed from Michigan Avenue to Lafayette Avenue from 4p.m. to 6p.m. for the festival.
For more information about the fall festival visit: www.valporaisoevents.com
Sgt. Michael Grennes of the Valparaiso Police Department offers the following safety tips to help make your Halloween holiday safe and fun for everyone:
1. Walk don't run from house to house
2. Stay on sidewalks
3. Stop and look both ways before crossing the street
4. Cross the street at intersections, not between parked cars
5. Stay in familiar neighborhoods
6. Carry a flashlight and wear bright clothing
7. Make sure costumes do not drag on the ground
8. Avoid wearing masks while walking from house to house
9. Safer to be in groups when walking from house to house
10. Approach only houses that have lights on
11. Wear clothing with reflective markings or tape
12. Wear costumes that don't restrict your sight
13. Wait to eat candy after you get home
14. Parents, inspect all candy after returning home. Any candy opened should not be eaten
15. Carry a cellular phone and immediately report any suspicious activity to police
All motorists should slow down and use extra caution during trick-or-treat hours
- Improving Community Air Quality with Tree Planting
- Indiana Atty General Seeks Dismissal of Ritz Lawsuit
- Longtime Political Reporter Hugh Hill, 1924-2013
- Man Cited After Entering Borman Work Zone
- Westville Man Seriously Injured in Crash
- Region Invited To Camp LRCA Harvest Festival
- Gary Man Killed in Portage Crash
- Gregg Not Running for Governor Again in 2016
- Plow Trucks Make Their First Appearance
- Franciscan Alliance Announces 275 Job Cuts
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