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Marine Warning Issued, Other Severe Weather Possible

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A marine warning has been issued for our listening area, and other severe weather is possible around the Region. 
Here is a link to the National Weather Service Chicago website: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/ 
[Image/Radar Map, Chicago National Weather Service website]...

Read more: Marine Warning Issued, Other Severe Weather Possible

 

Four Human West Nile Virus Cases in NW Indiana

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Northwest Indiana now has four human cases of West Nile Virus, three in Porter County and one in Lake County, according to the Indiana State Department of Health. The latest data available, from Friday, also show one human case in Elkhart County and eight other human cases in eight other counties across the state. Mosquito infections have been confirmed in nearly every Indiana county except for a handful downstate.  Indiana State Department of Health Senior Medical Entomologist Bryan Price told us in an earlier interview it's important to try to prevent mosquito bites. "Back before West Nile came to Indiana, people didn't worry all that much about being bitten by mosquitoes," Price told the Region News Team, "and a lot of people still don't worry about being bitten. But, with West Nile present, it's just not worth taking the risk, and we just want to emphasize that if you're out and mosquitoes start biting, then you should either go inside or make sure you get some repellent on."  Price says West Nile virus can cause a mild form of the illness, while some individuals will develop a more severe form that could include encephalitis or meningitis.
To hear our earlier interview with Price, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Quick facts about West Nile Virus from Indiana State Department of Health: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2012QuickFact_WestNile%281%29.pdf
Here is a link to the Indiana State Department of Health West Nile activity map for 2013: http://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/...

Read more: Four Human West Nile Virus Cases in NW Indiana

 

One Airlifted after I-65 Crash in Jasper County

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Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say one person was airlifted after a multi-vehicle crash near mile marker 226 this afternoon in Jasper County.  The crash occurred on the northbound side near the Fair Oaks exit reportedly just after 1 pm. Police say the crash scene which involved four or five vehicles has since been cleared.  No other information was available....

Read more: One Airlifted after I-65 Crash in Jasper County

 

Severe Weather a Possibility

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The National Weather Service says severe weather is a possibility in the Region today (Saturday October 5 2013). The Hazardous Weather Outlook issued out of the Chicago National Weather Service office says some thunderstorms may produce damaging winds in excess of 58 mph. Very heavy rain is also a possibility which may lead to flooding. Possible weather hazards also include hail up to one-inch in diameter and cloud-to-ground lightning.  Thunderstorms are expected to become more widespread mid to late afternoon as a cold front moves east through Illinois.  For forecast information click here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/  [Graphic/National Weather Service Chicago]...

Read more: Severe Weather a Possibility

 

NICTD Issues Service Alert for South Shore

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The operators of the South Shore commuter line have issued a service alert for October 5-11, 2013.  Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says South Shore trains will operate on a single track between Kennedy Avenue in East Chicago and 124th Street in Chicago in order to enable maintenance crews to install a new crossover and realign overhead wire near the Illinois/Indiana state line.    For details visit www.nictd.com...

Read more: NICTD Issues Service Alert for South Shore

 

Report: Suicide Steadily Increasing in Indiana

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Indiana State Department of Health officials say a recently-released report shows suicide deaths steadily increasing in Indiana,  According to the Suicide in Indiana report, suicide is a leading cause of death for Hoosiers aged 15-54.  Reports of suicide deaths in Indiana increased steadily from 2007-2010, according to the report.  State health officials also say many suicides and suicide attempts are unreported.
“Suicide deaths leave a legacy of unimaginable hurt and guilt in families and communities,” said Indiana State Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Joan Duwve, M.D. “Information is available to learn more about the warning signs of suicide and how we can all work to prevent it.”
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death overall in Indiana, the second leading cause of death among 15-34 year-olds and the third-leading cause of death for adolescents between 10-14 years-olds, making it an important public health issue. There were 872 deaths due to suicide in Indiana in 2011, according to the 2011 Indiana Mortality Report, up from 867 deaths in 2010.
Suicide is a complex problem, resulting from one or more biological, psychological, environmental, social and/or cultural factors. Certain situations and medical conditions put people at increased risk for suicide. Risk factors include recent crisis or loss, unemployment, severe depression or feelings of hopelessness, family history of suicide, physical or sexual abuse, substance abuse and access to firearms or other lethal means.
“Suicides are devastating to families and communities, so we must all come together to recognize those who need help, and then make sure they are connected to services,” said Dr. Duwve. “The Indiana State Suicide Prevention Plan was published last year to engage everyone including individuals, families, schools and places of worship and employment in the journey from hopelessness to health.”
Additional information from the Indiana State Department of Health --
Suicide warning signs include:
·         Appearing depressed or sad most of the time.
·         Talking or writing about death or suicide.
·         Withdrawing from family and friends.
·         Feeling hopeless and helpless.
·         Feeling strong anger or rage.
·         Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation.
·         Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
·         Abusing drugs or alcohol.
·         Exhibiting a change in personality.
·         Acting impulsively or recklessly.
·         Losing interest in most activities.
·         Experiencing a change in sleeping or eating habits.
·         Performing poorly at work or in school.
·         Giving away prized possessions.
·         Writing a will.
·         Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
There is help available for people considering suicide. If you or someone you know exhibits suicide warning signs, immediately call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (800-273-8255), the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (800-784-2433) or 911.
If you are concerned about someone, talk about it. Asking the following questions will not cause a person to consider suicide:
·         Do you ever wish you could go to sleep and never wake up?
·         When you feel sad, have you ever had thoughts of harming or killing yourself?
·         Are you thinking about killing yourself? Have you thought about how you would do it?
Then listen without judging, let the person know he or she is not alone and offer to help find a doctor or counselor or call a hotline together. Several resources are listed within the Suicide in Indiana report (2006-2011) at  http://www.in.gov/isdh/21838.htm  .Past reports are also available.
“Each of the statistics in the Suicide in Indiana report represents a person, and each person is important to those they left behind,” said Kevin Moore, Director, Division of Mental Health and Addiction. “This report will help us to target effective interventions that can help prevent future suicides. People who commit suicide often have untreated depression or substance abuse needs.  It is the responsibility of all of us to learn the warning signs and take appropriate action.”
To review the 2011 Indiana Mortality Report, go to  http://www.in.gov/isdh/19096.htm.
For more information, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1...

Read more: Report: Suicide Steadily Increasing in Indiana

 

Coats: Shutdown is a 'Pox on Both Our Houses'

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Indiana US Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Friday spoke on the Senate Floor to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to allow votes on individual funding bills sent over from the House of Representatives to provide funding for veterans and military personnel in the reserves as well as protect Americans from threats to their health and safety.
“We can do something right now to help Americans,” said Coats. “We can come together and fund important programs and departments right now and not put them in jeopardy because of Washington’s impasse.
 “A government shutdown is a pox on both our houses,” added Coats. “We need to do what the people of this great country elected us to do. We need to work to find a solution to the government shutdown. We can’t do that if the Democrat chair at the negotiating table is empty.”
Senator Coats' office says the House is sending the Senate a series of individual bills to fund several federal government departments and agencies. Coats is urging the Senate to pass these bills that would provide critical funding for veterans’ disability payments, the GI Bill, education training, VA home loans, pay for the National Guard and Reserve, food and drug safety programs, Federal Emergency Management Agency workers and intelligence and counter-terrorism personnel.
To view Senator Coats' speech click here:...

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Read more: Coats: Shutdown is a 'Pox on Both Our Houses'

 

September State Revenue Below Forecast

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Indiana revenues for September were reported at approximately one-point-46 billion dollars, eight-million dollars below projections. The state budget agency says overall revenues would be higher if not for the redirection of one-percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund, as lawmakers directed for the 2013 budget.
Here are details released by the State Budget Agency Friday:
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The monthly revenue report of September 2013 state tax collections was released today.
Results:
State general fund revenues for September were $1,460.4 million, $8.0 million (0.5 percent) below the target based on the most recent forecast updated on April 16, 2013.
For the first quarter of FY 2013, total general fund revenues were $3,452.2 million.
Sales tax collections were $4.7 million (0.8 percent) below forecast for the month and $32.2
million below forecast for the quarter. HEA 1001-2013 redirected 1 percent of sales tax to the motor vehicle highway fund. Absent that change, quarterly sales tax collections would have only been $14.6 million below forecast.
Individual income tax collections totaled $541.4 million for the month, $26.8 million (4.7 percent) below forecast but $14.0 million (2.7 percent) above collections for the same month last year.
For the quarter, individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below forecast at $1,166.1 million.
Corporate income tax collections were $3.7 million (1.8 percent) below forecast for the month, but $10.6 million above target for the quarter.
Gaming revenues were $5.9 million (16.2 percent) below target for the month and $3.4 million (4.7 percent) below forecast for the quarter.
Commentary
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, state general fund revenues were $73.5 million (2.1 percent) below target based on the April 16, 2013 revenue forecast.
State general fund revenues were 0.9 percent lower than in the first quarter of FY 2013.
HEA 1001-2013's redirection of 1 percent of sales tax collections to the motor vehicle highway fund reduced general fund collections by $17.6 million for the three months.
Absent that change, sales tax collections would have increased by 3.5 percent over the same period last year. The April 2013 forecast projected sales tax collections to grow by 3.9 percent for the year.
Individual income tax collections were $81.7 million below target for the quarter and $58.4 million below the first quarter of FY 2013.
Transfers made to the LOIT reserve fund in the first quarter totaling $59.3 million resulted in a year-over-year reduction in individual income tax revenue; there were no LOIT reserve transfers in the first quarter of FY 2013.
These transfers were made in accordance with the December 2012 revenue forecast.
Another factor contributing to the year-over- year reduction in individual income tax revenue
is the modest growth in withholdings, which have only grown 0.4 percent year to date.
Through the first quarter of FY 2014, corporate income tax collections were $10.6 million
(4.6 percent) above the forecast target, but 7.9 percent below the same period last year....

Read more: September State Revenue Below Forecast

 

Man Dies in Lawnmower Accident

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In southern Indiana,  Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the death of a man on Friday (10-04-2013) who was involved in an accident while mowing his property near the town of Dubois, in Dubois County. According to the information, Linus Bauer, 73 from Dubois was mowing his property with his lawnmower when it started sliding on wet soil, went down an embankment and overturned pinning the operator in a small ditch which had about 3 inches of water in it. It was reported that Bauer began his mowing around 12:00 p.m. on Friday. A family member went looking for Bauer and found the scene of the accident and called Dubois County 911 at 4:32 p.m..
Dubois Volunteer Fire Department First Responders, Jasper Memorial EMS, Dubois County Coroner’s Office, and Indiana Conservation Officers responded to the scene.The cause of death is undetermined at this time. The accident is still under investigation by the Dubois County Coroner’s Office and Officers from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. An autopsy is scheduled for today [Saturday]....

Read more: Man Dies in Lawnmower Accident

 

DeMotte Woman Passes Away After I65 Crash

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Indiana State Police say a 61-year-old DeMotte woman died after a crash that had southbound I-65 south of Crown Point closed to traffic until about 9-o'clock Friday night.  Indiana State Police say Sara Bergren of DeMotte had to be extricated from her vehicle and was airlifted from the scene to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn, where she passed away.  Officials say a preliminary investigation by Trooper Dennis Simcoe revealed that at approximately 5:21 p,m Friday [October 04, 2013], a 2002 Peterbilt Recovery (big truck) tow truck, driven by Mark S. Rapo, 49 of Portage, Indiana, was south bound on I-65 in the left lane preparing to make a left turn onto the interstate crossover near the 245 mile marker (this is approximately two miles south of the Crown Point exit).
The tow truck was going to a service call for a semi that had lost part of its load on I-65 northbound at the 247 mile marker (Crown Point exit). Witnesses stated the tow truck had its flashing emergency lights turned on as it began to turn into the crossover when it was hit in the rear by a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by Bergren. There were no passengers in the vehicle.  Police say Rapo was not injured.

All lanes south bound were closed for re-construction of the crash, airlifting of the driver, removal of the Malibu and clean-up of the scene. Motorists need to find alternate routes; expect back-up and long delays in this area. Also assisting were Troopers Brandon Henderson and Danielle Elwood, Sergeant Dan Leslie, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Trooper Dale Turner, and Crown Point Fire and EMS. [Photo/Indiana State Police Lowell]...

Read more: DeMotte Woman Passes Away After I65 Crash

 

Demotte Woman Critically Injured in Crash on I-65

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A 62-year old Demotte woman was airlifted to an area hospital Friday evening after the vehicle she was driving slammed into the back of a Peterbilt wrecker on I-65 a few miles south of the Crown Point exit.
Indiana State Police say the driver, identified as Sara Bergren, received life-threatening injuries and had to be extricated from her vehicle.
Preliminary reports say that around 5:20 p.m. the driver of the big-rig wrecker, 49-year old Mark Rapo of Portage was southbound in the left lane, with emergency lights flashing, preparing to turn onto the interstate crossover to answer a call back north when Bergen's 2008 Chevy Malibu slammed into the back of his truck.
According to police, Bergen was airlifted from the scene to Christ Advocate Hospital in Oak Lawn and her family has been notified.  There were no passengers in the vehicle.
Police say Rapo was enroute to help a semi that had lost part of its load, a large power generator, in the northbound lanes near the Crown Point exit.
The crash closed southbound I-65 at US-231 as well as the northbound lanes at State Rd. 2, the Lowell exit.  While the northbound lanes were closed to traffic for about an hour, the southbound lanes remained closed until 9p.m. with traffic being diverted off at the Crown Point exit.  Several traffic tipsters reported major, bumper-to-bumper traffic was reported on US-231 toward Crown Point and Hebron.

(photo:  provided by Indiana State Police)   ...

Read more: Demotte Woman Critically Injured in Crash on I-65

   

Government Shutdown Hurting Meals On Wheels

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The partial government shutdown continues and is impacting many across the nation including here in northwest Indiana. Meals on Wheels Executive Director Sandra Noe says many meals to seniors are funded through the Older Americans Act and even more seniors are on waiting lists, and with the sequester and now the shutdown, she says they're looking at things only getting worse.
Noe says in Lake County, they deliver one-thousand meals a day to seniors and national statistics show one in seven seniors are at risk for hunger, which equates to seven-thousand seniors in northwest Indiana.
Noe asks residents to contact your representatives in Congress and tell them how important senior nutrition is to the quality of life in northwest Indiana. She also wants you to consider donating to Meals on Wheels because, if the shutdown continues much longer, more and more seniors will be in need of help. To hear more of our interview, click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...

Read more: Government Shutdown Hurting Meals On Wheels

   

Incident Leads to Crash that Closes I-65

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Electric sign SB I-65 
An earlier incident where a large generator apparently fell off the back of a truck and into the travel lanes of Interstate 65 near the US-231 Crown Point exit, caused traffic to stop in the northbound lanes.  INDOT initially posted a traffic hazard around 4:30 p.m. CDT that caused a back up on the northbound side. 

According to Sgt. Doug Parcel of the Indiana State Police Lowell post, crews were able to move the generator out of the travel lanes and onto the left hand shoulder.  Sgt. Parcel says at around 5:50p.m. a driver in a wrecker, responding to the earlier generator incident, was, for reasons unknown, rear-ended by a passenger car vehicle as the wrecker was turning around in the median.

That accident caused the the southbound lanes of I-65 to be closed at US-231, where traffic was being diverted.  Also, northbound I-65 was closed at State Rd.2 the Lowell exit, where traffic was also being forced off for a while.  The extent of injuries was unkown, but Sgt. Parcel says that a Life Line helicopter did land in the southbound lanes.

(Photo:  southbound I-65 traffic being diverted off at the US-231, Crown Point exit.   Photo from INDOT)

Read more: Incident Leads to Crash that Closes I-65

   

Valpo Man Found Competent to Stand Trial

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Wayne Han II
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 36 year old Valparaiso man who claimed insanity has been found competent to stand trial. Wayne Han II is charged with two-felony counts of attempted child molesting. Han is accused of holding a handgun to the head of a 13 year old girl, during the early morning hours of November 29th, and demanding sexual acts, while staying with the girl's mother. A trial date has been scheduled for February 10th. ...

Read more: Valpo Man Found Competent to Stand Trial

   

Visclosky Urging Colleagues to Restore Order

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Merrillville, IN- Congressman Pete Visclosky took to the House Floor yesterday to voice his strong opposition to piecemeal measures that would only provide short-term funding for small pieces of the federal government, while leaving the vast majority of federal programs and agencies unfunded.
“What have we come to here? We have the best country in the world.  It’s time we start running it again. I’m opposed to this piecemeal approach,” Congressman Visclosky said.
For full video, please click on: &feature=c4overview&list=UU9njNo6tTComo9Kn7imz7Mg">&feature=c4overview&list=UU9njNo6tTComo9Kn7imz7Mg">&feature=c4overview&list=UU9njNo6tTComo9Kn7imz7Mg...

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SB I-65 Closed Near US 231 Due to Crash

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All lanes of southbound I-65 are closed near US 231 due to a crash. Seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 247....

Read more: SB I-65 Closed Near US 231 Due to Crash

   

41 Arrested in Michigan City Warrant Sweep

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A recent warrant sweep in Michigan City has netted 41 arrests. Michigan City Police report a total of five dangerous weapons were taken off the streets, three of which during today's “Operation Trick or Treat”, in which two narcotics search warrants were executed with the assistance of the SWAT Team, one in the two-hundred block of Detroit Street and the other in the one-hundred block of Grace Street. ...

Read more: 41 Arrested in Michigan City Warrant Sweep

   

Donnelly: Actions of Some in Congress Embarrassing

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Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly gave a speech on the floor of the US Senate this afternoon about the ongoing federal government shutdown and the negative impact Congress is having on the US and Hoosier economies, calling the actions of some in Congress embarrassing. Senator Donnelly says some in Congress is playing a game of “chicken” with our jobs, economy, and our future because they haven't gotten their way, which has resulted in thousands of Hoosiers not receiving paychecks because they are furloughed.
Donnelly says Congress is actually hindering job creation and economic growth, which is no way to run a country and something must be done to find a common sense way out of this train wreck. To listen to Senator Donnelly's speech in its entirety, visit click News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/...

Read more: Donnelly: Actions of Some in Congress Embarrassing

   

Two Valpo Females Arrested for Burglary

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Two Valparaiso women have been arrested for a burglary. Valparaiso Police report while interviewing two individuals Thursday afternoon for an unrelated burglary, one of the suspects admitted she had committed a different burglary just prior to speaking with police. 21 year old Jamie Farmer and 20 year old Sabrina Cahillane were each charged for the burglary, that took place in the three-hundred block of Chestnut Avenue. Police report all property taken from the burglary on Thursday was recovered and returned to the victim. ...

Read more: Two Valpo Females Arrested for Burglary

   

C-MAP Committee Votes to Include Illiana in Plans

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A critical decision-making period has begun on the Illinois side of the proposed Illiana Expressway. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's transportation committee voted ten-to-seven today in favor of including the Illiana Expressway in its transportation plan. Mitch Barloga, who is with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission, or NIRPC says that recommendation now goes to the full C-MAP board, who could take up the issue as early as next week, and NIRPC's full commission could take up the issue for approval on December 12th.
Barloga says online public comment peroid will commence on October 14th and they are looking to extend it until November 20th. Four open houses will begin in early November, two in Lake County, with one in Porter County and another in LaPorter County, but at this time, dates and locations are not yet available.
Barloga says a link to make comments should be available on their website, http://www.nirpc.org, next week. A public-private partnership deal is in the works for the Illiana, which he says is the reason they're able to bring the financing to bear.
An influential Chicago area group called the Metropolitan Planning Council has come out against it, saying it would put other needed road work at risk, and would not be used by enough vehicles. The Illiana, as currently proposed, would be a 47-mile tollway between I-65 near Lowell and I-55 in Will County, Illinois, to provide an alternative to the busy Borman....

Read more: C-MAP Committee Votes to Include Illiana in Plans

   

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