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Congratulations! Andrean 59ers are 3A State Champs!

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Capping off a 14-0 season, Andrean just brought back to the Region the Class 3A state title with a final score of Andrean 35, Brebeuf Jesuit 27.  Congratulations to coach Phil Mason in his sixth year at Andrean and the entire Andrean Football team in their victory. ...

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Outage Affected Hammond, Highland Area

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Northern Indiana Public Service Company reports about three-thousand customers, both businesses and residents, lost power for about ninety-minutes this busy Black Friday morning in and around the Hammond/Highland area, just a little east and west of Indianapolis Boulevard and both north and south of 175th Street due to an apparent problem with a transformer at a substation. Power was restored by about 11 am. The outage also affected traffic lights along a stretch of the Boulevard....

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Gary Event Paying Tribute to Historic Game

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This year's CN Lakeshore Classic at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary tomorrow (Sat Nov 30) is featuring a tribute to two high schools that made history when they met at Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis more than half-a-century ago. In 1955, for the first time in the Hoosier state, and the US, two all-black schools – Gary Roosevelt and Indianapolis Attucks – played each other for a state basketball title. Attucks won that game 97-74. Members of that groundbreaking game scheduled to be in Gary for this weekend's ceremony include NBA legends Oscar Robertson from the Attucks and Dr. Dick Barnett from Roosevelt. The National Basketball Retired Players Association says TNT, one of the NBA's home cable television networks, is sending a crew to cover the reunion. ...

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Public Invited to Hobart Doughboy Ceremony

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Today is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93 Doughboy ceremony where the names of fallen soldiers are read out loud – three names are being read tonight. The public is invited to the service, which starts at 5 pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue at 7th and Main. Doughboy was a term used to describe U-S infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I....

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Valpo HS Students Set Up Walk-Thru Roundabout

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Here's a new spin on training for the new Five Points Roundabout. A mock walk-through roundabout was marked out using blue tape on the floor of a hallway at Valparaiso High School to designate and simulate how vehicles would flow through the new roundabout at Calumet Avenue, Vale Park and Roosevelt Roads. It was part of a safe-driving activity sponsored by the school's chapter of SADD , Students Against Destructive Decisions, formerly called Students Against Drunk Driving....

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Lowell School Buildings Damaged in Severe Storms

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Administrators with Tri-Creek Schools in Lowell say some of the district's property was damaged in the severe weather outbreak that struck the Region and the Midwest November 17th. Part of the roof was compromised at the administration center, but officials say only storage areas were affected. There was also some damage reported to roofing and vents at the high school and Lake Prairie Elementary....

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Historic Stained Glass Tours Return to Michigan City

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The Historic Stained Glass Tours are returning to Michigan City. Michigan City Mainstreet Association Executive Director Tiffany Bley says the downtown, better known now as the Uptown Arts District, is home to several of the area’s finest pieces of stained glass, and most of the stained glass is housed within the district’s churches.  [Photos courtesy Michigan City Mainstreet Association]
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The Stained Glass Tours are self-guided tours featuring the Uptown churches. Each church will showcase the story, provide refreshments and tour the historic stained glass pieces they hold. Churches participating include Trinity Episcopal Church, 600 Franklin Street; First United Methodist Church, 121 E. 7th Street; St. Paul Lutheran Church and School, 818 Franklin Street; and St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church, 411 W. 11th Street.
Each church will have a resident tour guide, as well as the Stained Glass Tour Brochure which lists the other locations on the self-guided tours. Free horse drawn wagon rides and Santa visits will also be taking place in Uptown both of those days from 12noon to 2pm, as well as on December 7th an Arts and Crafts Bazaar at Barker Hall behind Trinity Church from 2pm to 5pm. For more information on these Winter Wonderland events, visit www.uptownartsdistrict.org  ....

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Illinois Soldier and Dog Reunited 9 Days After Tornado

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Spc. Montgomery and Dexter (Photo courtesy Illinois National Guard)
A member of the Illinois National Guard has been reunited with his dog, more than a week after the six-month-old puppy disappeared when tornadoes struck the state.  
When Spc. Jacob Montgomery moved to Washington, Illinois, from Champaign six months ago to accept a promotion in his civilian job, he got a pit bull puppy as a companion.
But the pup, Dexter, and Montgomery were violently separated on Nov. 17 when a devastating tornado ripped through Washington and destroyed Montgomery’s third-floor apartment. Although Montgomery looked through the wreckage of his apartment several times since the tornado, Dexter was nowhere to be found.
On Tuesday, Montgomery got a Facebook note on his smart phone from a neighbor. “He said ‘I’ve got your dog right here.’” After nine days, Dexter was found under the rubble near where the apartment used to be. “The vet said he has no real injuries – just a few scrapes and cuts. He was malnourished, but he’s going to be fine.”
Montgomery and his neighbors found a powerful new ally in their search for pets and property after the tornado. “We are all networked together,” he said.
Montgomery’s neighbor had been searching for his cat with an animal rescue organization, Rescuing Animals in Need (RAIN) of Central Illinois, when they came across Dexter partly buried in rubble. They coaxed the 6-month-old puppy out of the rubble with hot dogs. The neighbor knew right away whose dog it was because of the pictures Montgomery had posted on social media. “As soon as a heard, I went straight there,” Montgomery said in an Illinois National Guard news release. “As soon as Dexter saw me, his tail started going.”
“As a National Guardsman, you train to respond to emergencies all the time, but I never really had it happen to me,” said Montgomery, who has been a military police officer with the Illinois Army National Guard for more than five years and is a member of the 333rd Military Police Co. of Freeport. “I am lucky. All I had in my apartment is gone, but my dog was all I really had to worry about.”
Montgomery is staying with a friend near Peoria until he can find a new apartment for him and Dexter....

Read more: Illinois Soldier and Dog Reunited 9 Days After Tornado

 

Salvation Army Angel Tree Program

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Rebecca-Simmons
[Captain Rebecca Simmons in studio for our Region Newsmakers series]
On this Black Friday, The Salvation Army Lake County is asking Region residents to think about putting something under the tree for area children whose families are experiencing financial hardship. The Salvation Army's annual Angel Tree Program provides not only toys but clothing and special-needs gifts, and in Lake County there are nearly four-thousand children whose parents have already requested assistance for this Christmas. Salvation Army Lake County Coordinator Captain Rebecca Simmons says angel tree tags can be found at the East Chicago, Gary-Merrillville, or Hammond-Munster Salvation Army locations.  "Recently we had a call from a group in Crown Point, " said Captain Simmons, "a Girl Scout Troop, who wanted to adopt angels, and they're just really excited about being able to adopt angels and buy gifts for other kids, just like them, who are in need." You can hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview with Captain Simmons here at our website. For more info call 219-838-0380 (Hammond-Munster), 219-887-6588 (Gary-Merrillville), or 219-398-2939 (East Chicago).
For more info online visit www.salarmylakecounty.org

...

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Officer Dragged, Shot Fired After Alleged Shoplifting

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In the Chicago-area Thursday night, authorities say a driver was shot by a police officer after an alleged shoplifting incident at a Kohl's department store in Romeoville. Officials say two suspects ran from the store to a waiting car, where an officer got caught in a struggle and was dragged by the vehicle. That's when another officer fired his gun, believing his fellow officer was in danger. "The driver was struck, we believe, one time in the shoulder area," said Romeoville Police Chief Mark Turvey, "and at that time the car came to a stop".   The injured officer and the driver were sent to the hospital.  "The officer was dragged, quite some distance," Chief Turvey said, "He couldn't get out." Three people were arrested....

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14-0 Andrean Plays for State Title Today

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[Image/Andrean HS Official State Bound T-Shirt]
The Andrean Football 59ers punctuate their phenomenal season as they vie for a state title at Lucas Oil Stadium today.  Andrean, with an unbeaten regular season record of 14-0, is attempting to win their second state title in school history and first undefeated 15-0 season.  Top-ranked Andrean is playing in their first football championship game since 2004 title year.  The Fighting 59ers are ranked #1 in both the Associated Press and state coaches polls.  They are one of three unbeaten teams remaining in the state, the others being Columbus East and Eastern Hancock.  Their opponent, Brebeuf Jesuit, is making its first appearance in the football state finals on the heels of winning the school's first sectional title.  The Braves are one of two teams playing in a state championship game for the first time, the other being Tri-Central.  There's a big sendoff in Merrillvile at the school this morning for the team. The 3A state championship game kicks off in Indianapolis this afternoon at 2:30 Central/3:30 Eastern.
More info from IHSAA:
http://www.ihsaa.org/Portals/0/ihsaa/documents/news%20media/2013-14/201314FBMedia.pdf
 
...

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'A Christmas Story' Window Travels to Riley Hospital

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A window scene from the annual "A Christmas Story" Comes Home exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond will be spending this holiday season in a special place downstate.   According to Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, the organization wanted to share Northwest Indiana’s holiday cheer with Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis
“Watching the holiday classic ‘A Christmas Story’ has become tradition for many families. We wanted to provide Riley Hospital for Children’s patients and families the chance to experience the annual exhibit during their time at Riley,” said Batistatos. In addition to providing one of the window scenes for display, the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority will be coordinating several special events. The special events will offer patients and families the opportunity to experience Christmas traditions while at Riley Hospital for Children.
The “A Christmas Story” Comes Home exhibit, which is presented in agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products, will open at the Indiana Welcome Center on Saturday, Nov. 9 and run through Sunday, Jan. 5. The Indiana Welcome Center is open seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and is located at 7770 Corinne Drive, Hammond, Indiana 46323.
For more information on the exhibit, weekend and holiday hours, special events, or the partnership with Riley Hospital for Children, contact Bethany Randolph, special events and services manager for the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, at 219-554-2229 or visit www.AChristmasStoryComesHome.com...

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Merrillville Town Council Vote Favors Illiana

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The town of Merrillville has officially thrown its support behind the proposed Illiana Expressway. At this week's town council meeting, the vote was five-to-one, with one councilman absent, in favor of regional planners including the project in the 2040 Comprehensive Regional Plan, an important step to get federal dollars. Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission's board is scheduled to take that vote December 12th. The 47-mile highway would link Interstate 65 in south Lake County near Lowell to I-55 in Illinois.   Published reports say Councilman Richard Hardaway, who cast the vote against, said his objection comes not against the project itself, but in light of the opposition from residents of south Lake County who would be affected by the highway, noting that Lowell State Representative Rick Niemeyer and Lake County Councilman Eldon Strong of Crown Point are against it. Niemeyer and Strong made a joint announcement earlier this month urging NIRPC to vote it down saying money would be better spent on existing projects in the Region....

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Survey Says Cost of Thanksgiving Meal Drops

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The cost for a traditional Thanksgiving meal in Indiana dropped sharply from 2012 to 2013, according to an informal survey of grocery costs from Indiana Farm Bureau.  The annual survey indicates that the average cost for this year’s Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $48.12, down nearly $3 from last year’s average of $51.05.
“The cost of this year’s meal, at less than $5 per serving, remains an excellent value for consumers,” said Isabella Chism, Indiana Farm Bureau second vice president. “Indiana’s farm families are honored to produce the food for family Thanksgiving celebrations.”
Done as part of a national survey coordinated by the American Farm Bureau, the Indiana shopping list includes turkey, bread stuffing, sweet potatoes, rolls with butter, peas, cranberries, a relish tray of carrots and celery, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and both coffee and milk, all in quantities sufficient to serve a family of 10 with leftovers.
A 16-pound turkey was $23.04 or $1.44 per pound, a decrease of 17 cents per pound and $2.72 overall.
“Slightly higher turkey production for much of the year coupled with an increase in birds in cold storage may be responsible for the moderate price decrease our shoppers reported,” said John Anderson, deputy chief economist at the American Farm Bureau Federation.
AFBF’s 167 volunteer shoppers checked prices at grocery stores in 34 states. Among those were the 18 shoppers who participated in IFB’s survey.
The national survey compiled by AFBF also showed a decrease on both the overall cost of the dinner and the turkey. The cost of the meal averaged $49.04, a 44-cent price decrease from last year’s average of $49.48, while the turkey cost $21.76, or about $1.36 per pound, a decrease of about 3 cents per pound compared to 2012.
In addition to the turkey, other prices that decreased on the Indiana survey were whole milk, which dropped by 26 cents a gallon to $2.76; whipping cream, down 22 cents to $1.62 for a half pint; a dozen rolls, down 16 cents to $1.83; frozen pie shells, which dropped 4 cents to $2.34 for two; and a 1-pound relish tray of carrots and celery, down 3 cents to 83 cents.
Items that showed a moderate price increase from last year included stuffing, up 21 cents to $2.62; 3 pounds of sweet potatoes, up 15 cents to $2.97; 12 ounces fresh cranberries, up 8 cents to $2.44; and pumpkin pie filling mix, up 4 cents to $3.07. In addition, a combined group of miscellaneous items including coffee and ingredients necessary to prepare the meal (onions, eggs, sugar, flour, evaporated milk and butter) increased 2 cents to $3.20.
Farm Bureau volunteer shoppers are asked to look for the best possible prices, without taking advantage of special promotional coupons or purchase deals. The Indiana Farm Bureau says another option for busy families without a lot of time to cook is ready-to-eat Thanksgiving meals for up to 10 people, with all the trimmings, which are available at many supermarkets and take-out restaurants for around $50 to $75.
The AFBF survey was first conducted in 1986. While Farm Bureau does not make any scientific claims about the data, it is an informal gauge of price trends around the nation. Farm Bureau’s survey menu has remained unchanged since 1986 to allow for consistent price comparisons....

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Road Closures for Thanksgiving Turkey Trot 5K, 10K

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Porter Starke's 2013 Valparaiso Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Day 5K and 10K are today, and look for parts of some major roads to be closed for the event, including Campbell Street, Vale Park Road, Cumberland Drive, and Valparaiso Street. It's estimated more than 35-hundred walkers, runners and volunteers will be on the streets of Valpo. The races both begin right around 8 am and roads aren't expected to reopen until about 10 am. In particular Campbell Street is closed from Park up to the high school.
Here's a link to the routes:
http://www.porterstarke.org/foundation/events/turkey-trot/about-the-race/route-maps.html ...

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Porter Co Salvation Army Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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The Salvation Army of Porter County will host its annual free Community Thanksgiving Dinner today (Thursday, November 28th) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at The Salvation Army Corps Community Center, 799 Capitol Road, South Haven, Indiana on Highway 6 (one block west of Highway 149).
The Salvation Army of Porter County says the event has become an annual tradition for those in the county to enjoy a meal and share a time of fellowship. The dinner is free of charge. Everyone is invited and this allows those without the means or a family to enjoy a “family style” Thanksgiving Dinner with neighbors and friends. Delivery for shut-ins is also available.
To support this dinner or volunteer for other holiday events, contact The Salvation Army at 219-762-9191 or visit this website -- www.saportercounty.org . Other volunteer opportunities include ringing the bells, playing or singing at a Red Kettle site, helping with Angel Tree and Adoption toys, clothing, food drives and coat drives. ...

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Judge Announces Candidacy for Re-Election

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Judge Bradford
Republican Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford has announced he is running for re-election next year.  The 68-year-old Bradford, who's been on the bench since 1981, is the longest-seated judge in Porter County.  Bradford has presided over thousands of cases, including death penalty murder cases and multimillion dollar civil cases....

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NIPSCO Marks Environmental Milestone

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Northern Indiana Public Service Company says they've reached an environmental milestone. The Merrillville-based utility giant says the first phase of an emissions-control system recently began operating at the Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield. The technology, known as a “scrubber” , is one of three going in at NIPSCO's coal-fired generating stations over the next couple years, an investment totaling $739 million, the company says. A second one at Schahfer is scheduled for completion next Fall and a third in 2016 at the Michigan City generating station.
Similar environmental upgrades have previously been completed on NIPSCO’s other generating units. After these latest investments, NIPSCO says they will have among the cleanest coal fleets in the state. The project, which began in 2011, required more than 1.7 million hours of work and employed more than 800 local craft laborers.
“Improving air quality is important, and we have made substantial progress in recent years by diversifying our supply mix and investing in other environmental improvements,” said Mike Finissi, chief operating officer for NIPSCO. “We worked diligently to ensure that we completed the project safely, on time and in the most cost-effective way for our customers.”
The project follows approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and a 2011 settlement with  the Environmental Protection Agency and the State of Indiana under the Clean Air Act....

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Arrest Made in Death of Former Lake Co Woman

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Dawna Natzke
The boyfriend of a police dispatcher in Arkansas who grew up in Lake County, Indiana, was taken into custody in Colorado this week after an arrest warrant for first-degree murder was issued in connection with the death of 46-year-old Dawna Natzke. Police in Hot Springs Village say Natzke, a 1984 graduate of Lake Central High School, was reported missing two days before Christmas in 2011. Her body was found New Year's Eve that December in a national forest a few miles from where her burned-out car was located about a week earlier. Officials say Kevin Duck was the last person to see Natzke alive. Authorities say Duck was arrested without incident....

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New Text Service Preps Hoosier Students for College

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Bill Stanczykiecz r
If you are the parent of a college-bound kid, a new texting service will help you by helping your kid by receive timely texts to your high school age son or daughter. 
Bill Stancykiewicz president and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute (pictured above) says that an idea originally developed by a Lake County School counselor has been taken to the next level. 
Stancykiewicz  says the service, available from the site Trip To College.org designed for students 13 years of age and older, their parents and their school counselors, sends out, "alerts...timely text messages related to the child's age and the child's grade of what they need to be doing that school year to be prepared to succeed in school and get the education they need after high school."
For example Stancykiewicz says, "if you are a sophomore you are receiving texts about the PSAT exam, if you are a junior you're being told about the deadlines to sign up for and you're reminded to start doing your college visits, if you're a senior you are reminded about the financial aid deadlines."
He adds, "it is very practical information into the hands of kids, their parents or counselors, on their smart phones and their cell phones."
Stancykiewicz says students can sign up directly from the phone by typing the number 69979, typing in the word "grad" (sans the quotation marks) and the high school graduation year of the student. 

Trip To Colleg website
   (www.triptocollege.org)
Upon doing that he says the recipient will receive two to four timely text messages per month pertaining to their schooling situation.
For more information about Trip To College text alerts or, to sign up visit: http://www.triptocollege.org....

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