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UPDATE: Tanker Truck Fire on Toll Road

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The westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road between Lake Station and Portage is closed at this hour due to an accident and tanker truck fire. Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say the tanker truck on fire was carrying salt.  Earlier we had word that two semi trucks may have been involved in this accident, which occurred on the westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road near Ripley Street.  Police say westbound traffic was being diverted at Willowcreek in Portage.   The fire reportedly started in the cab and did not reach the tanker portion, according to the latest information available from police....

Read more: UPDATE: Tanker Truck Fire on Toll Road

 

Crash on Toll Road in Lake Station

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Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say they are responding to the report of an accident involving two semis.  The crash is reportedly on the westbound side before Ripley Street in the Lake Station area....

Read more: Crash on Toll Road in Lake Station

 

Port Sees Increase in Tonnage Through September

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With the end of navigation season approaching, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor saw a 16 percent increase in total tonnage through September, putting it on pace for its highest annual total in over six years, according to figures released this week by the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Steel and steel-related byproducts continue to drive strong shipment numbers through the port in conjunction with a steady increase in other bulk commodities such as coal, fertilizer and limestone," according to Port Director Rick Heimann. “Looking ahead, we expect this trend to continue next month as we already have on the books a shipment of distillery tanks from Germany bound for a brewery expansion in Chicago.”
The St. Lawrence Seaway also reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to September 30 were 23 million metric tons. The number is down 11 percent over the same period in 2012, but U.S. ports saw increased tonnage in several cargo categories."At least a dozen ships from Europe unloaded steel products at the ports of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Burns Harbor and Detroit over the past month; a clear sign that the end of the navigation season is approaching and shippers are working diligently to get products out of the mills and into the Seaway System before the end of the year," said Rebecca Spruill, Director Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.  "Although overall cargo tonnage is down, September provided many positive signs that the next three months will be extremely busy for our ports and terminal operators in the Great Lakes-Seaway System."  [Photo/Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor]...

Read more: Port Sees Increase in Tonnage Through September

 

Positive Report from Indiana Realtors

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Home sales continue to climb in Indiana. According to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report released Monday by the state's REALTORS® the number of existing, single-family homes sold last month statewide increased 14.3 percent when compared with September 2012. The report also showed the median sale price of those 6,342 homes is $123,500 – a 2.9 percent increase from the same month of last year.
Monday's report "contains some of the best news we’ve shared,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, 2013 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Fall usually brings a slowdown to housing markets and while September followed that seasonal trend, home sales and prices across Indiana were significantly higher than the same month of the last two years. Statewide, we are well past the recovery stage and appear to be moving toward a stable, balanced marketplace. Whether we fully achieve that status depends on real employment and wage growth, as well as consumer confidence."
Additional information from the Indiana Association of Realtors:
Other year-over-year, statewide comparisons from the report show -
• The average sale price of homes increased 3.6 percent to $146,553
• The percent of original list price received increased 1.6 percent to 92.3 percent
• The number of pending home sales increased 9.9 percent to 5,483
• The number of new listings increased 13.1 percent to 9,497
September 2013 was the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in the number of closed home sales, and marked these other consecutive year-over-year gains –
• The median sale price of homes has increased for 22 months
• The average sale price has increased for 21 months
• Sellers received a greater share of their original list price for the 19th month
• The number of pending home sales has increased for 24 months...

Read more: Positive Report from Indiana Realtors

 

Vehicle Fire on I-65 in Lake County

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Traffic alert: Crews are responding to a vehicle fire on southbound I-65 at US 30 on right-hand side. INDOT reports the ramp of southbound I-65 is closed near US 30 due to the fire. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 253. [Image/Indiana Department of Transportation cameras]...

Read more: Vehicle Fire on I-65 in Lake County

 

Hold-ups in Schererville, Dyer Investigated

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Police in the Tri-Town area say a series of holdups over the weekend may be related. Police are investigating two cases of people being robbed at gunpoint inside their garages, one at 7:30 Sunday night on Lancelot Lane in Dyer, and another about a half-hour later on Mackinaw Place in Schererville. Friday night, about 8-o'clock, Schererville Police say three people reported being held-up at an ATM at Chase Bank in the 18-hundred block of Kennedy Avenue. Police say the victims had driven up to the machine when a man walked up to the driver's side, demanding the cash, and later threatened them with a handgun....

Read more: Hold-ups in Schererville, Dyer Investigated

 

Frosty Temps Hit the Region

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[Image/National Weather Service Chicago]
Region residents finding a chilly morning today as the area sees its first widespread freeze of the season.  The National Weather Service Chicago says a Freeze Warning remains in effect until 8-o'clock this morning (Central Daylight Time).    Forecasters say a Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely, conditions that will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.   Meteorologist also say a fast-moving storm system will likely bring a mix of rain and snow to som parts of northern Illinois, and lake adjacaent counties in northwest Indiana may see lake effect rain showers change to snow late tonight.  There is the chance, forecasters say, for rates that could sharply drop visibility and some lightning is possible within these showers.  ...

Read more: Frosty Temps Hit the Region

 

Governor to Join UPS, Kinetrix Energy for Announcement

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The office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence says a major announcement – regarding energy and job creation - is happening this morning [10am EDT]  in Indianapolis. The Governor will be joined by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and representatives from United Parcel Service and Kinetrex Energy, a unit of Citizens Energy Group that provides liquefied natural gas [LNG].  The event is happening at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling facility operated by Kinetrex....

Read more: Governor to Join UPS, Kinetrix Energy for Announcement

 

Double Homicide Person of Interest in Custody

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Through preliminary reports, autopsies, dental records and DNA the Lake County Coroner's office has postively identified the victims of the double homicide discovered last Friday during a well-fare check in an unincorporated area of Lowell.
At a Monday afternoon press conference, Lake County Sheriff John Buncich released the names of the victims, 68-year-old Clifford Snow (a retired Hammond school teacher) and his wife, 66 year-old Joyce Snow, whose bodies were found inside their residence located on 197th Avenue near Calumet Avenue. 


SNOW MUGG
(Thomas Jeffrey Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department)


Sheriff Bunsich says a person of interest, identified as the deceased couple's son, 34 year-old Thomas Snow was reportedly in the area days prior to the murder.  On Friday night the sheriff's department issued an all points bulletin for Snow and his deceased parents 2008, white Chevrolet HHR.  The sheriff says the suspect, who has a history of drug abuse, auto theft and feeling officers, was wanted by the Newton County Sheriff's department for an alleged armed robbery that took place at Bozeman's Marathon in DeMotte on Thursday, the day before the decomposed bodies were found. Sheriff Buncich says during a high speed pursuit on State Road 10, Snow was able to loose Newton County police into Will County, Illinois.


clifford Snow
(Clifford Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department) 


joyce snow
(Joyce Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department)


On Saturday, October 19th the Lake County Sheriff's Department received word that Snow was picked up by police after a pursuit following a traffic stop in Hawley, Minnesota, which located in the northwest part of the state about 15-miles east of Fargo, North Dakota.  Snow was driving  
Sheriff Buncich says Newton county authorities are in the process of extraditing Snow to Newton County where he faces armed robbery charges.  While no charges are currently pending in connection to the double homicide, Bunsich says the Lake County Sheriff's Department will work with Lake County Prosecutor and file charges once Snow is back in the state.


1
(Lake County Coroner, Merrilee Frey with Sheriff John Buncich at Monday, October 21st press conference at Lake County Sheriff's headquarters.  Photo courtesy of Jay Stevens)


At the end of the press conference to ease the concern of neighbors and residents of rural Lowell, where the homicides took place, Sheriff Buncich stressed that Snow targeted his family and that it was an isolated incident. ...

Read more: Double Homicide Person of Interest in Custody

 

Alcohol Suspected in I-65 Accident

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drunk semi rollover 1
(Photos Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A rolled over semi closed all lanes of southbound I-65 near Lowell early this morning for over two-and-a-half hours. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports 28 year old Devon House, of Florida, was heading south on I-65, two miles north of the Lowell exit, at approximately 12:30am, when his semi went off the roadway, House over-corrected, lost control and the semi rolled over onto the passenger side, hitting an informational sign. Authorities say House was taken to a local hospital where his blood-alcohol level tested point-two-seven. House and his female passenger were not injured in the crash and all southbound lanes of I-65 were reopened around 3am.
drunk semi rollover 2 ...

Read more: Alcohol Suspected in I-65 Accident

 

New CEO of Goodwill Michiana Announced

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After 40 years of service, Goodwill Industries of Michiana's current CEO, J. Larry Neff is retiring. Goodwill's Board Chairman Tony Allison announced today that Neff will retire on December 31st and Debie Coble will serve serve as their next President as CEO, effective November 11th. Coble is currently the company's Vice President of Workforce Development, Public Relations and Development, and Industrial Services. ...

Read more: New CEO of Goodwill Michiana Announced

   

Ridge Rd Ramp to I-80/94 Night Closures Thru 10/31

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Nightly closures of the Ridge Road/37th Avenue ramp to westbound I-80/94 begin tonight. INDOT reports crews will be repaving sections of the ramp, which will be closed each night, Monday through Thursday, from 7pm to 5am, through the end of the month.
Traffic wishing to travel from Ridge Road/37th Avenue to westbound 80/94 will be detoured eastbound on 80/94, to the exit for northbound Ripley Street/SR 51, and back to westbound 80/94....

Read more: Ridge Rd Ramp to I-80/94 Night Closures Thru 10/31

   

Right Lanes of NB/SB I-65 Closed for Construction

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I-65 nb and sb backups
(Photo Courtesy of INDOT Cams)
Construction work on I-65 are causing some delays for motorists this afternoon. Both the right lanes of northbound and southbound I-65 is closed near Ridge Rd due to construction work, so expect delays as you travel northbound and southbound on I-65 in that area. ...

Read more: Right Lanes of NB/SB I-65 Closed for Construction

   

Charity Texas Hold 'Em Tournament for LAUW

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Charity Texas Hold 'Em Tournament for LAUW

Lake Area United Way and Horseshoe Casino teamed up for a charity Texas Hold 'Em Tournament.  Tournament Chair Aaron McDermott says the idea came about because he wanted to create a unique fundraiser that had not already been done and Horseshoe Casino provided the perfect setting .  McDemott says they look forward to growing the event even more next year.  Lake Area United Way Relationship Manager Shellie Dell says just the proceeds from the first day of the tournament, October 16th, went toward their organization.  Dell says right now they are in the middle of their 2013-14 Employee Giving Campaign and the goal is to get a combination of one-thousand new donors and volunteers.

If you would like more information on how to donate to the Lake Area United Way, visit http://lauw.org/...

Read more: Charity Texas Hold 'Em Tournament for LAUW

   

Police Officer Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge

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A 33 year old South Bend police officer from LaPorte who crashed his vehicle Saturday evening has been charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports an off-duty deputy came across the crash, in the 39-hundred block of North County Road 350 East, and reported the vehicle struck two telephone junction boxes. Authorities report 33 year old Jeff McKee was still behind the wheel of his pickup, which was running, and sitting about halfway off the road, when officers arrived. ...

Read more: Police Officer Arrested on Drunk Driving Charge

   

Leaf Pick-Up Season Begins in Valparaiso

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In Valparaiso, the city's fleet of seven leaf vacuum crews will begin picking up leaves today (Mon Oct 21) and continue through November 29. City officials say the trucks follow the trash routes, but because of the unpredictability of the wind and weather, it's difficult to commit to a specific pickup day for each neighborhood each week. Public Works Director Matt Evans says they may add occasional Saturday pickups during the heaviest part of the season. Residents are asked to keep sticks and any other items out of leaf piles. City officials say non-leaf items and debris can damage equipment and lead to downtime for repairs. After November 29th, leaves must be left in biodegradable bags for pickup.  The city also says there will be no additional leaf pick ups in the Spring, so any leftover leaves from the Fall season must be bagged for pick up. [Photo/Laura Waluszko, Radio One Communications]
leaf vac
[Website Photo/City of Valparaiso]
Additional info from the city:
- Crews will begin at 7 am and continue until dark, if necessary
- Leave your leaves in the right-of-way -- literally off the street -- for pick up. City officials say the leaves should be left on the grassy area between the sidewalk and the curb, to keep leaves from becoming a roadway hazard and to keep them from being washed into the storm sewers during heavy rains.  Leaves cannot be picked up in alleys.
- Leaves should be the only thing in the pile -- no sticks, bricks, boards or other items. Public Works cannot pick up mixed piles with brush and leaves together until separated by the resident.  Public Works does not pick up any debris from contractors, regardless of the time of year.
- Additional items should be placed off the street, near the curb.
- Although it's preferable to leave leaves unbagged and unconvered through Nov. 29, leaves may be placed in biodegradable bags (NO plasitc) or covered with a tarp at the curb to prevent them from blowing.
- Please bag any leaves remaining after the leaf pick-up season ends on Nov. 29.
- For more information about leaf pick up, or other services of Public Works, visit the city's website at www.valpo.us...

Read more: Leaf Pick-Up Season Begins in Valparaiso

   

Problems Plaguing Facebook Users

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Region residents having trouble updating their status or posting on Facebook in general this morning are not alone. There are reports of update problems elsewhere in the country with people getting error messages. Posts on another social media juggernaut, Twitter, are relaying the experiences....

Read more: Problems Plaguing Facebook Users

   

First Widespread Freeze of the Season Possible

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The first widespread freeze of the season could hit the Region tonight.  The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Watch from late tonight through Tuesday morning. Meteorologists say temperatures in the upper 20s to lower 30s could kill crops and other sensitive vegetation. [Image/National Weather Service Chicago]
Here's a link to the Chicago National Weather Service website:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...

Read more: First Widespread Freeze of the Season Possible

   

Temporary Busing in Effect for Bridge Replacement

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Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District says South Shore is temporarily busing passengers between South Bend, Hudson Lake and Carroll Avenue Station in Michigan City while NICTD is replacing a bridge east of Michigan City. Busing is expected to continue thru November first.
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District website:
www.nictd.com ...

Read more: Temporary Busing in Effect for Bridge Replacement

   

Serious Injuries Reported in Crash Near LaCrosse

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US Highway 421 south of LaCrosse in rural Dewey Township was closed for an extended length of time for a crash resulting in serious injuries. La Porte County Sheriffs Police say for unknown reasons Friday afternoon a southbound passenger vehicle crossed the center line and struck the axles of a northbound trailer that was being pulled by a semi-tractor. after striking the trailer axles, police say the soundbound vehicle then crashed into a Jeep that was also traveling northbound on US 421. Deputies arrived on scene north of County Road 2300 South shortly before 2 pm.  The driver of the southbound vehicle was airlifted from the scene to a South Bend hospital. A juvenile passenger of that vehicle and the driver of the semi were taken to a Porter Regional Hospital for treatment.  Police say the crash investigation was on-going and results of toxicology tests were pending for the driver of the southbound vehicle.    
La Porte County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were assisted at the scene by members of  the following agencies:  Indiana State Police, Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, Starke County Sheriff’s Department, North Judson Police Department, La Porte and Porter County Emergency Medical Services and the La Crosse Volunteer Fire Department....

Read more: Serious Injuries Reported in Crash Near LaCrosse

   

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