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Purdue President Looking to Extend Tuition Freeze

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Tuition at Purdue University's main campus in Lafayette might not go up for a third consecutive year if University President Mitch Daniels has his way.
According to the university's website, on Tuesday Daniels posted a message stating that he plans...

Read more: Purdue President Looking to Extend Tuition Freeze

 

NIRPC Kicks off Waterway Watershed Initiative

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Working together with local communities and organizations, the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission (NIRPC) is kicking off a project to improve water quality and restore aquatic habitats in the Deep River-Portage Burns Waterway watershed.
NIRPC identified the watershed as a...

Read more: NIRPC Kicks off Waterway Watershed Initiative

 

Great Lakes Restoration Funds Could Go Back Up

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Funds to cleanup and restore the Great Lakes, which were slashed last year from 300 million to 60 million dollars by a US House of representatives subcommittee, could be restored back up to that 300 million dollar mark. According to published reports, congressional leaders are currently crafting a compromise bill to allocate funding to deal with issues such as toxic pollution and runoff, loss of wetlands and wildlife habitat and invasive species. ...

Read more: Great Lakes Restoration Funds Could Go Back Up

 

AUDIO: VITA Program at IU NW

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Beginning Friday, February 7th and continuing on most Friday evenings through April, most northwest Indiana families may take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program at the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics.

To our Region NewsTeam interview with Professor James Thomas, who is the head of the program at IU Northwest, click http://indiana105.com/news/news-on-demand.html....

Read more: AUDIO: VITA Program at IU NW

 

Remember to Address Asthma During the Winter

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The CDC reports the flu is widespread in the Hoosier state, which is why the American Lung Association is reminding Hoosiers that cold weather precautions are especially important for those with asthma. Hoosier with asthma are encouraged to wear a scarf over their nose and mouth and officials report upper respiratory viral infections, including influenza, increases the risk of asthma exacerbations and complications, which is why influenza vaccination is crucial for those with asthma. An estimated 9.5 percent of children and 9.1 percent of adults in Indiana currently have asthma, but only 45.3 percent of adults and 45.6 percent of children with asthma receive their annual flu shot.
For more information about asthma and cold weather, visit www.asthma.in.gov or contact your primary health care provider....

Read more: Remember to Address Asthma During the Winter

 

New Police Officers Swore-in in East Chicago

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East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland and Police Chief Mark Becker on Friday swore-in nine new probationary police officers, bringing the department's officer staffing level to 94. Mayor Copeland called the swearing-in a proud moment for East Chicago as it is a sizable increase in their police workforce. Chief Becker says this new addition of officers, along with new and innovated tools like ShotSpotter, which identifies gunshots and nearly exact locations from which the weapon is being fired, to the partnership with Dr. Joseph Ferrandino, of Indiana University Northwest, who works with his students to identify and map crime for the city, all help to make efficient and effective use of their resources.
Chief Becker says the city was recently awarding funding to address the hiring of additional officers and efforts are underway to identify qualified candidates. If interested, stop by the police department to collect an application. ...

Read more: New Police Officers Swore-in in East Chicago

 

Federal Support for Gary to be Announced Thursday

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Federal support for the City of Gary is expected to be announced on Thursday. The Times reports Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson informed those in attendance during the Gary Chamber of Commerce's meeting, at the Majestic Star Casino on Monday, that the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US EPA and the US Department of Transportation will be bringing unprecedented support for Gary. ...

Read more: Federal Support for Gary to be Announced Thursday

 

State Agencies Collaborate to Educate About Identity Theft

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The Indiana Department of Revenue and the Indiana Attorney General's Office are collaborating to educate Hoosiers about identity theft in light of the upcoming tax season. Attorney General Greg Zoeller says identity theft is a year-round problem, but tax season gives criminals an opportunity to use individuals' personal information and Social Security numbers to file fake tax returns and claim refunds, which he says is why Hoosiers need to be on-guard, especially while online. According to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, about one-point-six million Americans were victims of identity theft and tax return crimes in the first six-months of 2013, compared to one-point-two million in all of 2012.
Throughout the 2014 tax season, both agencies will continue to offer Hoosiers resources to keep their personal data safe and secure.
For additional information about how to prevent identity theft, visit:
...

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Staying Safe on the Roads When the Unexpected Occurs

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Lake Co. Sherrif
Due to the recent severe cold and snow weather the Lake County Sheriff's Office wants to remind drivers about being safe on the roads when the unexpected occurs. Sheriff John Buncich says some tips include putting your flashers on when there is a problem, stay in your vehicle and don't make repairs while your vehicle is exposed to other traffic, call 9-1-1 and remain with your vehicle as an officer can provide assistance and a safer environment and to move your vehicle as far away from the traveled portion of the roadway as you can. Sheriff Buncich says there have been too many recent tragedies where drivers have exited their vehicles due to a breakdown or needing other assistance which resulted in fatalities....

Read more: Staying Safe on the Roads When the Unexpected Occurs

 

Airport Authority Accepts Ordinance, Public Hearing Set

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On Monday the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority accepted an ordinance for Aviation Facilities Company, or “AFCO” (af-coe), of Virginia, to operate and manage development. The approval sets the stage for a privatization deal, anticipated to last 40 years. The public will now be able to comment on the proposed ordinance terms that were accepted up until the date of a scheduled public hearing on January 27th.
Terms would include an investment of 25-million dollars in the first three years. ...

Read more: Airport Authority Accepts Ordinance, Public Hearing Set

 

Period of Heavy Snow Expected This Morning/Afternoon

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A period of heavy snow is expected this morning into the early afternoon hours mainly north of I-80. The National Weather Service in Chicago reports the snow could briefly fall heavy at times with localized accumulations of an inch or two possible and wind gusts over 40 miles per hour likely this afternoon into this evening.
Meanwhile localized river flooding will remain a possibility. A flood warning continues for the Kankakee River at Shelby until further notice....

Read more: Period of Heavy Snow Expected This Morning/Afternoon

   

Region Potholes: A Result of Temperature Extremes

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The rise and fall in temperatures following last week's severe winter weather was the main ingredient that caused potholes to form quickly.
Matt Deitchley INDOT Northwest District says, potholes begin when water seeps into the cracks in a road and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil beneath the surface. As the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the road surface, forming potholes.
Deitchley says the 50 degree temperature difference only exaggerated the process forming even more potholes in a shorter amount of time.
He says that INDOT understands the frustration of drivers and adds that crews, "have 5,000 lane miles to cover in the Northwest Indiana District and (crews) are still working weekends and nights."
Meanwhile Deitchley reminds drivers to take it as, "slow as possible and to stay as alert as possible." If you do see a pothole developing you can call 1-855-GO-INDOT.
...

Read more: Region Potholes: A Result of Temperature Extremes

   

Weather Could Make for a Challenging AM Commute

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Weather could once again be a factor in the morning commute in an area along and north of Interstate 80.
The National Weather Service office out of Chicago has issued a special weather statement warning of an intense band of snow possible that is expected to fall in a two to three hour period close to morning morning rush times.
Meteorologists say an Alberta Clipper moving through the Region could cause moderately heavy snow at times with a "quick one to two inches and isolated higher amounts likely."

 
 
In addition, the weather service says snow showers will redevelop by early Tuesday evening and the winds will also significantly increase out of the west northwest with speeds between 20 to 30 mph gusting in excess of 40 mph.
 
 
Motorists need to be alert to a combination of additional snowfall, low visibility with considerable blowing and drifting of snow.
 
 
Stay up to date on Region Roads and weather with the Region News Team all day Tuesday. ...

Read more: Weather Could Make for a Challenging AM Commute

   

Closing in on a Deal to Extend Unemployment Benefits

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It's been two weeks since some nearly one in-a-half million out of the nation's unemployed received their last unemployment benefit check, but the Senate may be nearing a deal. 
 
According to ABC News' Steven Portnoy, Republican senators Dean Heller of Nevada and Susan Collins of Maine are proposing a three-month extension to benefits. 
 
Meanwhile, Majority leader Harry Reid, who like the president, is not in favor of a short term proposal, prefers an extension of the long-term benefit program through mid-November. according to Portnoy, Republicans have insisted any extension not add to the deficit....

Read more: Closing in on a Deal to Extend Unemployment Benefits

   

Free Help Enrolling in Health Insurance Programs

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Persons in need of health insurance can learn what’s available and how to enroll during free programs, sponsored by Franciscan Alliance, in January and February at Southlake Mall.
Kim Eldridge, a representative of MDwise Hoosier Alliance insurance provider, will offer information on coverage options and assist with the enrollment process.
    
Sessions will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31, from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 7 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 14, at the Franciscan Alliance display in the JC Penney store court on the mall’s first floor.
Registration is not required. For more information, send e-mail to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

(logo:  http://www.franciscanalliance.org/Pages/default.aspx )...

Read more: Free Help Enrolling in Health Insurance Programs

   

La Porte Co. December 2013 DUI Task Force Results

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Drive Sober get Pulled Over
The results are in for the Impaired Driving Patrols conducted by the La Porte County D-U-I Task Force during the month of December, 2013.
According to a task force press release, 28-patrols yielded a total of 340 vehiclesthat were stopped with members of the patrol unit issuing 146 citations for Traffic and Criminal offenses in addition to 317 warnings. 


 Six persons were arrested for Drivoing while under the influence amd three were taken into custody for Felony D-U-I.  Of the ten subjects arrested for DUI, they had an average Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) of .13% BrAC.
Nine additional suspects were arrested for Criminal Misdemeanors not related to DUI and six were arrested for Felony charges not related to DUI.
Sergeant Harlan Willliams says, "The continued efforts by members of the La Porte County DUI Task Force show our continued commitment to ridding our roadways of dangerous and imparied drivers as well as criminal offenders and wanted persons."  Williams goes on to say that he commends the continued efforts by Task Force members to keep our motoring public and communitgy safe."  The sergeant reminds members of the community that if they witness or suspect imparied or dangerous driving to report it immediately to 9-1-1.
The La Porte County DUI Task Force is a partnership that is funded by a grant from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the National highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Members of the Task Force are comprised of Officers from the LaPorte City Police department and Michigan City Police Department as well as Deputies of the La Porte County Sheriff's Office.

(logo:  http://www.in.gov/cji/3498.htm )
...

Read more: La Porte Co. December 2013 DUI Task Force Results

   

Budget Concerns Alarm Food Pantry Board

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Increased costs due to a variety of factors are raising new budget concerns with members of the Portage Township Food Pantry Board. 
 
A pantry press release says while several businesses, churches and charity-mined individuals continue to support the pantry, an overall decrease in contributions in combination with a significant increase to operational expenses are causing the pantry to examine it's resources with a concern for its future as a substantial source of aid for the community's needy.
 
Among the contributing budget factors are an increase in food prices, more qualified patrons due to cuts in food stamps, as well as the cut off of extended unemployment benefits. According to the release, the pantry is also sharing heat and power costs with its host, New Vistas Educational Opportunities Center. 
 
Even with the budget concerns, the board appreciates the continued community support it receives including a recent $500 donation from the Sandpiper Cooperative Preschool in Ogden Dunes....

Read more: Budget Concerns Alarm Food Pantry Board

   

Home Invasion, Robbery Suspect in Custody

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Zackery Padgett of La Porte
A La Porte man has been taken into custody in connected to an armed robbery at a neighboirhood tavern and an alleged home invasion that occurred early Sunday morning in La Porte. 
Reports say police en route to an armed robbery in progress in the 500 block of Tipton St. were informed that witnesses were chasing the suspect on nearby Brighton St. Upon arrival to that location, officers observed two males pinning down and assaulting another male against a silver SUV.
Further investigating showed that the subject being detained had allegedly just entered an apartment in the 600 block of Tipton Ave. and reportedly robbed a subject at gunpoint. He then fled the apartment where he was chased to where the SUV was located.
 
The suspect identified as 20 year-old Zackery Padgett is charged with robbery, a Class B felony.
All defendants are presumed innocent until/ unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and are entitled to have a trial before a judge or a jury.

(Photo/provided)
...

Read more: Home Invasion, Robbery Suspect in Custody

   

IU NW Offering Free Tax Preparation Starting 2/7/14

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Beginning Friday, Feb. 7 and continuing on most Friday evenings through April, Northwest Indiana families with less than $50,000 in annual income may take advantage of the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program at the Indiana University Northwest School of Business and Economics. This service provides free electronic tax filing of federal and state returns for local families.

VITA sessions take place by appointment on Friday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Dunes Medical/Professional Building at IU Northwest, located near Jefferson Street and 35th Avenue.

Families are asked to bring all W-2 forms, 1099s, Social Security and government payment notices, any tax rebate amounts received, and any other notices of income, mortgage interest, taxes paid, qualified tuition payments, contributions, rents paid, names and addresses of landlords, and any other tax-related information, as well as all family and dependent Social Security numbers and birthdates. Individuals are also asked to bring a photo ID.

There are no charges for this service and refunds are typically received within 10 days.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

To provide this service, the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics and the Accounting and Business Student Organization have teamed with Northwest Indiana Community Action and the Internal Revenue Service. Business and accounting students at IU Northwest are trained by faculty members and Internal Revenue Service representatives to prepare the tax returns.

For more than 30 years, students with IU Northwest’s AACSB-accredited School of Business have received practical, hands-on experience in tax preparation and customer service, while Northwest Indiana families have enjoyed access to free tax-preparation services.

For information about parking at IU Northwest, including a practice for issuing temporary visitors’ permits, please visit  http://www.iun.edu/parking/.
For more information or to make an appointment, contact the IU Northwest School of Business and Economics at (219) 980-6552....

Read more: IU NW Offering Free Tax Preparation Starting 2/7/14

   

INDOT: Crews Working to Fill Potholes

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NORTHWEST INDIANA – Northwest Indiana drivers are asked to be on alert for potholes on interstates, U.S. highways, and state routes. The rise and fall in temperatures following last week’s severe winter weather was a recipe for potholes to form quickly. As temperatures continue to rise and fall through the winter season, more potholes are likely to form. When the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is not clearing snow, ice or storm debris, crews are focused on maintaining and preserving the state’s roads and bridges, which mainly consists of pothole patching in the winter months.
INDOT crews worked all weekend long to fill potholes in the Northwest Indiana District. All this despite an exhausting previous week on the roads clearing snow and ice from our recent winter storm which saw them on the roads 24 hours a day, for five days. Crews are filling potholes as quickly as possible, but with 5,000 lane miles to maintain in the Northwest Indiana District alone, it’s a big job.
Potholes begin when water seeps into the cracks in a road and freezes, expanding the layers of pavement, stone and soil beneath the surface. As the ice melts and contracts, heavy highway traffic further loosens the pavement, forming potholes.
With temperatures too low for paving, most of Indiana’s hot mix asphalt plants are now closed. During the winter INDOT uses cold mix – a mixture of small stone and liquid asphalt – as a temporary patch. Even after being filled with cold patch, the same pothole requires ongoing maintenance and can reopen several times throughout the winter. When the asphalt plants reopen in the spring, INDOT maintenance crews clean out and then repair potholes with hot mix, providing a smoother, more permanent fix.
For the past several years, INDOT has been expanding its Pavement Preservation Program to improve pavement friction and seal tiny cracks before potholes form. For every dollar invested, research estimates that pavement preservation saves taxpayers $6 to $14 in future maintenance and construction costs. Pavement preservation also uses fewer natural resources than reconstruction and significantly reduces motorist inconvenience.
To report a pothole on a numbered state route, interstate or U.S. highway, call 1-855-GO-INDOT.
INDOT urges motorists to slow down and stay alert when encountering pavement maintenance crews. Drivers in Northwest Indiana can monitor road closures, road conditions, and traffic alerts at any time via the INDOT social media channels: www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest or Twitter @INDOTNorthwest. Or visit  http://www.trafficwise.in.gov for INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service....

Read more: INDOT: Crews Working to Fill Potholes

   

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