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Congressman Pete Visclosky speaks with RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna while Hammond Mayor, Tom McDermott and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman discuss the EPA's Brownfield Program Grant to be awarded to the RDA. [Photo/Karl Berner, Region News Team]
Federal, state and Region officials gathered in Hammond this morning to announce a new partnership between the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency. RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman were joined by the mayors of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, and Congressman Pete Visclosky as the two entities announced an 800-thousand dollar EPA Brownfield program grant which will help the RDA and the three north Lake County cities and NIRPC with brownfield cleanup. This grant will go toward the establishment of a one-million dollar revolving loan fund for Gary, Hammond and East Chicago brownfield remediation. Projects targeted include former US Steel site Buffington Harbor, the Gary downtown city center, the 6200 block of Columbia in Hammond, and the Union Tank car site in East Chicago. This grant is the third partnership between the RDA and the EPA. Previously the RDA was awarded one-million dollars for the dredging of Marquette Park lagoon, and a 350-thousand dollar grant for Miller Beach stormwater mitigation. Both of those EPA grants resulted from the RDA’s $28 million Marquette Park restoration project.
-Buffington Harbor. This former U.S. Steel site includes 200 acres along the Lake Michigan shoreline contaminated with heavy metals, asbestos, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These contaminants can cause kidney and liver damage, respiratory problems and cancer, among other ailments.
-The Gary Downtown City Center. This includes 15 city blocks in central Gary that once housed paint shops, auto service centers, dry cleaners and printing shops. The area has concentrations of lead, heavy metals, hexavalent, chromium, solvents, PAHs and asbestos that can cause nerve and liver damage, respiratory issues, anemia and bone marrow problems and mesothelioma.
-Union Tank Car. This 50-acre site in East Chicago was once used to manufacturer railroad tank cars and is contaminated with heavy metals, lead, solvents, hexavalent, chromium and PAHs.
-The 6200 Block of Columbia. This consists of 15 acres of vacant commercial space in southeast Hammond that is contaminated with chlorinated-VOCs that can cause headaches, respiratory problems, nerve and liver damage, and affect fetal development.
The mayors of Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, Congressman Pete Visclosky, Northwest Indiana RDA President/CEO Bill Hanna and EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman are scheduled to gather for an announcement this morning about a new partnership between the RDA and EPA they say will benefit the Region. A news conference is being held at Lost Marsh Golf Course in Hammond. The Region News Team's Karl Berner is covering the announcement, and we'll bring you details today.
The Indiana Department of Transportation reports that in LaPorte County, east of Kouts, U.S. 421 between SR 8 and U.S. 30 is closed for poles and lines down. Avoid the area if you can. NIPSCO is on the scene.
June gives Hoosiers and their neighbors the chance to celebrate the Lake Michigan coast and increase awareness of its importance to Indiana.
Coastal Awareness Month will kick off June 1 with events in Michigan City and end June 29 with a Clean Water Celebration in Gary. The full lineup of Coastal Awareness Month activities is at cam.dnr.IN.gov
Lake Michigan is a source of recreation, drinking water, industrial resources and many other uses. The 45 miles of shoreline in Indiana is the most diverse in the Great Lakes Region. This month provides a chance to learn and appreciate it more. The Lake Michigan Coastal Program and its partners orchestrate Coastal Awareness Month each year.
The Indiana Chamber of Commerce is taking nominations for the 2013 Community of the Year Award. The winning community will be announced in August or September. Valparaiso won in 2009, La Porte in 2005. Indianapolis was named Community of the Year last year. The Chamber says the purpose is to give special recognition for significant contributions to local business climate and overall image during the past year. Entries must be received no later than June 17 to be eligible for consideration. The last five Community of the Year recipients were Indianapolis, Kokomo, Terre Haute, Valparaiso and Noblesville.
Past Community of the Year recipients:
2010: Terre Haute
2001: Greater Lafayette
1999: Fort Wayne
1993: St. Joseph County
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Motorists in Valparaiso using Michigan Street could run into some issues starting tomorrow morning. The City reports Michigan Street, from Lincolnway south to the alley, will be closed starting at 7am through 5pm, for the removal of fire debris leftover from the two-story brick building fire in the downtown, at Lincolnway and Michigan,in early March.
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The Portage Township Parks and Recreation Department and the Portage Township Summerfest Committee are looking for volunteers to help at this year’s 2nd Annual Portage Township Summerfest. Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy says the event in June at Haven Hollow Park will be even bigger this year, running four days instead of two this Father's Day weekend.
The event started last year as a way to generate funds for the township parks. You can hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview with Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy online at regionnewsteam.com.
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Merrillville Police are asking for the public's help regarding a home invasion Sunday night. The Times reports five masked men entered the home in the 74-hundred block of Bigger Street about 9pm, entering through a locked screen door. According to the article, two suspects held three individuals in a bathroom while three of the suspects left and used the victim's credit and debt cards to withdraw 200 dollars. The suspects then returned, and reportedly took jewelry, and other personal items, including the victims phones, which required them to drive to the police station to file a report.
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(Photo Courtesy of the City of Gary)
A total of 61 weapons, 42 handguns and 19 rifles, were turned in on Saturday in Gary, at their second gun buyback event this year. Chelsea Whittington, Director of Communications for the City of Gary, says this was the fourth such gun buyback since Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson's administration started in 2012, and the hope is to have one or two more by the end of this year. Whittington called the event a success, not only because guns were taken off the streets, but also because it gave the city an opportunity to partner with local churches to raise awareness about the efforts of the Gary Police Department. She says the event also lets potential criminals know the City of Gary is partnering with the eyes and ears of the community, to work together, to make the city safer.
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(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 19 year old man wanted for felony attempted murder with a deadly weapon by the Lake County Sheriff's Department is this week's “Fugitive of the Week” by the U-S Marshals Service, Great Lakes Task Force. Eric Martel Johnson was last known to reside in the 21-hundred block of Delaware Street in Gary, and is also wanted by authorities for battery, aggravated battery, and battery causing serious bodily injury, all of which are felony charges. Eric Johnson is described as a black male, 5'6'', weighing 145 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Anyone with information on Eric Johnson's whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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In Lake Station, Indiana State Police Senior Trooper Dan Avitia helped save a two-year old Valparaiso girl Memorial Day afternoon. Around 3:30 pm, Avitia, a fourteen-year veteran,was in the area of I-80 west bound just west of Central Avenue, when a dispatch came out about a child having a medical emergency. Avitia located the SUV parked on the inner shoulder. Police say the child had bluish tinged lips, and not breathing; Avitia revived the child who was taken to a local hospital for observation. The mother said her daughter had been on medication for an illness. The girl was given two teddy bears by the Indiana State Police. These bears are given to children to comfort them if they become involved in a stressful situation.
- Region Population Changes
- Teaching Garden to Valpo
- Local Discussion on Prayers at Govt Mtgs
- Limited Tickets for New Game
- Purdue Approves WL Tuition Freeze
- Hobart ZIP Code Issue Ongoing
- Gov Pence to Speak at Dedication
- Region Soldier Honored
- NW Ind Motorcyclist Killed in DC Crash
- Memorial Day: Honoring America's Veterans
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