House Fire in Hebron

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Crews are responding to a house fire in Hebron.  State Road 8 is reportedly blocked east of Hebron this morning.  No other information was available at this hour....

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Power Outage in Portage

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Northern Indiana Public Service Company reports just over 14-hundred customers in Portage are without power at this hour.  We have reports that includes the traffic light being out at the busy intersection of US 6 and County Line Road.  No word at this hour on what is causing the outage....

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Region Invited To Save The Kennedy

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kennedy    kennedy2
The Kennedy Theatre has been the site of first dates, movie premieres, and family fun for generations in Hessville and now they need your help. Owner Chris Benavidez says they need over one-hundred thousand dollars for studio mandated upgrades to keep showing movies in 2014. To help raise the money needed they have started The Save The Kennedy Campaign online and will be hosting a benefit November 2nd at the Hammond FOP Lodge. For more information, listen to Annie's interview with Chris online at News Audio On Demand here on our website....

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False Reporting Leads to Arrest of Two DeMotte Men

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Jasper Co Sheriff Dept
Two DeMotte men have been arrested and charged with false informing after they told authorities an unknown suspect shot their friend during a robbery that never actually occurred. The Jasper County Sheriff's Office says on Tuesday, just before 3:30am, they received word of a gunshot victim at the Jasper County Hospital Emergency Room, where a 23 year old DeMotte man had received a gunshot wound to his lower left leg. During the investigation, detectives found a discrepancy in the story of the two witnesses who were in the vehicle with the victim when the alleged robbery occurred, at the intersection of State Road 110, south of DeMotte. Authorities say the victim reportedly admitted the robbery story had been fabricated to cover the fact he had self-inflicted the gunshot wound at his apartment. A search warrant of the apartment turned up a 38-caliber revolver, along with spent shell casings at the scene and an investigation continues. ...

Read more: False Reporting Leads to Arrest of Two DeMotte Men


Indiana Extends High-Risk Insurance 6,800 Hoosiers

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Indiana's high-risk insurance pool has been extended until January 31st, 2014, for all 68-hundred Hoosiers currently covered. The Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Insurance issued the order today at the urging of Governor Mike Pence, due to the fact Hoosiers have had difficultly enrolling in Marketplace insurance plans because of technical issues with the federal Marketplace website. Should the enrollment problems continue, the state will assess the feasibility of extending coverage until Hoosiers can apply and enroll in the federal Marketplace. ...

Read more: Indiana Extends High-Risk Insurance 6,800 Hoosiers


Donnelly Outlines Priorities for Farm Bill Conference

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The federal government is cutting five billion dollars from the food stamp program, meaning families of four will get $36 dollars less a month for food. And more cuts could be coming as Congress debates a farm bill. 47 million people use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program known as SNAP. Paul Morello with the Greater Chicago Food Depository says the cuts will increase demand at food pantries and more people are going to have trouble finding food,  "they're going to have trouble figuring out where their next meal is going to come from".
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly today outlined his priorities for the five-year Farm Bill, urging the farm bill conference committee to provide a basic level of crop insurance coverage for advanced bio-fuel crops and expressed support for a bipartisan amendment to improve the availability of conservation technical assistance to farmers. For a link to read Donnelly's full letter to the farm bill committee, click

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Autopsy Results on Two Killed in Portage Crash

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An autopsy has been performed on 40 year old Simon Moffat, the driver of the vehicle that crossed into the southbound lane and struck another vehicle, which killed Moffat and 33 year old Karina Gonzalez, a passenger in the vehicle that was struck. Moffat autopsy, performed by the Lake County Coroner's Office, showed his death was caused by his brain stem being severed. Toxicology test results should be available in about six-weeks. Gonzales, whose autopsy was performed by the Porter County Coroner's Office, died due to multiple blunt force trauma. Rogelio Gonzalez, the driver of the vehicle that was struck, remains in good condition at last check at a South Bend hospital. The cause of a two-vehicle crash Wednesday in Portage on Willowcreek Road remains under investigation....

Read more: Autopsy Results on Two Killed in Portage Crash


US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Heather Tancos

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(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 27 year old woman wanted by the Lake County Sheriff's Office for dealing cocaine is this week's US Marshals Service, Great Lakes Task Force, Fugitive of the Week. Heather Tancos is described as a white female, 5'7”, weighing 159 pounds, with brown hair and green eyes. Authorities say Tancos has been known to reside throughout the northwest Indiana region, with ties to Crown Point, Hobart, Lake Station and Valparaiso.
Anyone with information on Heather Tancos and her 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....

Read more: US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Heather Tancos


Donnelly, Viclosky Testify to ITC on Tariffs

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Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly and Congressman Pete Visclosky today testified before the US International Trade Commission in support of anti-dumping tariffs on hot-rolled steel products from foreign countries. Congressman Visclosky says he believes we need a manufacturing base in the US to pay a living wage and internationally it is not a fair fight.
Visclosky says manufacturing is key to our national security and tariffs must continue to be enforced. Donnelly says the tariffs level the playing field. ...

Read more: Donnelly, Viclosky Testify to ITC on Tariffs


Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Officer Caused Her Crash

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A lawsuit has been filed by a woman against Porter County Sheriff David Lain, the Sheriff's Department, a Sheriff's Department officer, and the Porter County Board of Commissioners, claiming an officer's actions caused her to get into a car accident that resulted in her being injured. The Times reports Melody King claims she was heading south on State Road 49, around 7pm, on November 4th, 2011, when an officer entered State Road 49 from eastbound Division Road against a red light. According to the article, King's lawsuit says the officer's action caused her to collide with the vehicle in front of her, which resulted in her injury, which has led to medical expenses and lost earnings. ...

Read more: Woman Files Lawsuit Claiming Officer Caused Her Crash


Four Region Communities Move Halloween to 11/1

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In Northwest Indiana, four Region communities – Crown Point, Winfield, Portage and now LaPorte, have moved the official trick-or-treat time to Friday evening. Portage Assistant Fire Chief Dan Kodicek says the fire department will also be out tomorrow night, passing out thousands of glow sticks purchased through donations from Firefighters Local 3151 and Porter Regional Hospital. For UNINCORPORATED Porter County, Sheriff David Lain wanted residents to know that trick-or-treat hours would NOT be moved. At last check, all other community trick or treat hours remain intact....

Read more: Four Region Communities Move Halloween to 11/1


Electronic Devices Okay to Use During Take Offs/Landings

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Airline passengers will no longer hear "please turn off all electronic devices" during take off and landings. The Federal Aviation Administration announced today passengers will be able to use most devices, unless the crew tells them otherwise. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says - talking on cell phones - is still prohibited, but it is now safe to read downloaded materials, like e-books and calendars, and also to play games.
The committee determined that most commercial airplanes can tolerate radio interference form portable electronic devices. ...

Read more: Electronic Devices Okay to Use During Take Offs/Landings


Sheriff's Office to Step Up Patrols Due to Break-Ins

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October has been a bad month for home break-ins in unincorporated Porter County. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports a break-in Wednesday in Jackson Township was the 18th reported incident. The Sheriff's Office reports they will be stepping up patrols in the areas affected. Most of the incidents have reportedly occurred during the work day hours....

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Residents Asked to Not Call 911 for Trick-Treat Hours

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With inclement and possibly stormy weather in the forecast, some Region communities have moved trick-or-treat hours to Friday. (See Region Trick-or-Treat Hours article here online for updates).  There's been some uncertainty and confusion, but one thing that authorities are stressing is questions need to be forwarded to city or town halls, and not police.  "We're having a lot of people call 911 and our Central Dispatch to ask about trick-or-treat times, " Porter County Central Communications Public Information Officer Paige Connelly told the Region News Team this morning.  "What we're asking is that they contact their local city or town government instead, because they're the ones that actually make the decision about trick-or-treat tonight."...

Read more: Residents Asked to Not Call 911 for Trick-Treat Hours


Enrollment to Begin for Federal Heating Help

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Enrollment for federal heating bill assistance programs for low-income households begins on Monday, Nov. 4, 2013.
“While temperatures can be unpredictable, payment assistance programs help provide our customers experiencing financial difficulties with a sense of security,” said NIPSCO Customer Service Manager Kim Broader, who oversees the utility’s energy assistance programs. “We are fortunate to have great partnerships with local agencies across northern Indiana, such as the Salvation Army and township trustees, to help connect those customers with assistance programs.”
Households experiencing financial difficulties may call NIPSCO’s Customer Care Center, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT, to learn about available assistance options, including:
·        Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Program: LIHEAP support is available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Between December 1 and March 15, Indiana natural gas utilities do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who are behind on their bills.
·        NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy (CARE) Discount Program: The NIPSCO CARE Discount Program is designed to provide further bill reductions to LIHEAP-eligible customers. Once enrolled in LIHEAP, customers are automatically enrolled in the program.
·        NIPSCO Hardship Program: For customers just outside the federal poverty guidelines for LIHEAP, the NIPSCO Hardship Program offers up to $200 in gas bill assistance to households between 151-200 percent of the federal poverty level.
Eligibility information and a listing of agencies that help administer assistance programs can be found at Customers are encouraged to contact the agency for a complete list of required documentation ahead of visiting in person.  A full list of programs available to NIPSCO customers to help manage energy use can be found at

Read more: Enrollment to Begin for Federal Heating Help


Griffith Road Work Postponed due to Weather

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The town of Griffith today announced that due to the weather, the road work on West Main Street between Cline Avenue and Ernest Avenue will be postponed until Friday, November 1, beginning at 7 am.  West Main Street will remain open to vehicular traffic and all property owners and businesses will have access to their properties.  Lindberg, Raymond and Ernest Avenues will be closed to traffic at their West Main intersections.  Questions can be directed to Griffith Public Works at 219-924-3838....

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Soggy Halloween in the Region

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Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Chicago say a mild but rainy Halloween is in store for the area. Some areas, generally south of a LaSalle to Chicago line, saw 1 to locally over two inches of rain overnight, and the potential remains for additional locally heavy rainfall today across the same general area. Heavy rainfall will cause minor flooding of low lying and poorly drained areas, as well as some street flooding. Meteorologists say thunderstorms are possible this afternoon, mainly south of Chicago, and an isolated severe storm is possible with gusty winds. Rain is expected to taper off and end from west to east this evening, behind a cold front, but this afternoon temps are expected to stay in the 60s before talling into the 50s by early evening. [Image/National Weather Service Chicago]

Chicago National Weather Service website:

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Family Members to Remember Flight 4184

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Family members of those who died on American Eagle Flight 4184 will gather at the site this afternoon as they've done for years to mark the anniversary of the crash. Sixty-eight people were killed 19 years ago when the plane traveling from Indianapolis to Chicago encountered icing conditions during a cold, rainy afternoon October 31st, 1994, and crashed into a Newton County soybean field near Roselawn.   [Photo/provided]
Pat Hansen, whose brother Frank Sheridan perished on the flight, says the public is invited to join family in paying their respects at the roadside memorial.  "If you're driving the street, feel free to stop by. Pray with us, remember.  We share good memories, we share painful ones sometimes, but it really is a very from-the-heart sharing," Hansen told the Region News Team.  Hansen also says they're in the process of trying to do some fundraising to have a permanent memorial.  They'll be gathering at 3:30 this afternoon (Central Time), and  Hansen says at 4:07 pm, the time the plane crashed, they'll  hold a moment of silence.
Click here for more information and directions:

Read more: Family Members to Remember Flight 4184


Region Trick-or-Treat Hours

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Halloween – in November? That's what's happening in a number of Hoosier cities and towns, including some in the Region.
The following are all this evening, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center and not local police.

The following are all this evening Oct 31, except where indicated. Hours are subject to change due to expected showers and storms this evening. Check with your local city or town center.

Lake County (unincorporated) Same as city or town of your address
Porter County (unincorporated) 5:30-7:30pm *Sheriff David Lain says trick-or-treat hours will NOT be moved

Burns Harbor 5:30-7:30pm
Cedar Lake 5-7pm
Chesterton 5:30-7:30pm
Crown Point (new hours, now Friday 5-7pm)
Demotte 5-7pm
Dyer 5-7pm
East Chicago 4-6pm
Gary 4-6pm
Griffith 5-7pm
Hammond 5-7pm
Hebron 5:30-7:30pm
Highland 5-7pm
Hobart 5:30-7:30pm
Kentland 5-7pm
Kouts 5-7pm
Lake Station 4:30-7:30pm
LaPorte 6-8pm (MOVED to Friday)
Lowell 5-7pm
Merrillville 5-7pm
Michigan City 5-7pm
Munster 5-7pm
New Chicago 5-7pm
Portage (MOVED to Friday 5:30-7:30pm)

Also moved to Friday, Nov 1, the Downtown Business District in Portage along Central Avenue will be open for Trick-or-Treating from 3:30pm - 5pm. Businesses who are participating will have a sign in their window/door. Regular Trick-or-Treat hours for the whole community will be from 5:30pm - 7:30pm that same evening.  The Portage Fire Department will be out on Halloween handing out 3,200 glow sticks to your children.  The glow sticks were donated by Portage Firefighters Local 3151 and Porter Regional Hospital

Porter 5:30-7:30pm
Rensselaer 5:30-8pm
Schererville 5-7pm
Southlake Mall 5-7pm
St. John 5-7pm
Valparaiso 5:30-7:30pm
Westville 5-7pm
Wheatfield 5-7pm
Whiting 5-7pm
Winfield (MOVED to Friday 5-7pm)


Read more: Region Trick-or-Treat Hours


Senator Coats: Delay Obamacare Mandates

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Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) Wednesday spoke on the Senate floor about the impact the Obamacare rollout is having on Hoosiers. Coats shared stories he has received from Indiana residents and reiterated his call for the Senate to pass his bill to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year.  Click here  &">& to view Coats' remarks.
The following is an op-ed article by Indiana Republican US Senator Dan Coats:
An email I received from Daniel in Elkhart, Indiana, summarizes the experience many Hoosiers are having with the recently launched Obamacare online health insurance marketplace:
“I have tried for two weeks to apply through the marketplace, only to electronically sign my application and be kicked back to my 'profile page.' This is the most bizarre system I have ever experienced. If a company put a business website together like this they would go out of business.”
Despite its $400 million cost to taxpayers, the president’s health care website has been plagued by nationwide accounts of technological complications since it launched on October 1. It also has been reported that the site has provided inaccurate information about the federal tax credits available to those seeking health insurance.
An experienced online database programmer told CBS News, “I would be ashamed and embarrassed if my organization delivered something like that.”
The administration has had almost four years to prepare for the rollout of their health care law and this is what it looks like – a complete disaster. A recent Associated Press poll revealed that only seven percent of Americans believe the rollout of Obamacare has gone either very well or extremely well.
Despite the website’s numerous glitches and many other implementation problems, the administration still insists on fining taxpayers if they don’t purchase health insurance.
Last week, the Obama administration announced a six-week extension to sign up for a health care plan before facing a penalty. This brief extension is not enough and certainly no consolation for the millions of Americans that are seeing their policies canceled, premiums rise and paychecks fall.
In September, I introduced legislation to delay the Obamacare mandates for a year, and as the problems with the health care law rise, I will continue to push for a vote on this bill.
First, a delay of the Obamacare mandates would provide all Americans with the same relief that the administration already has given to businesses. The Obama administration announced this summer that it will delay penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers, but not provide the same delay for all Americans.
Don’t individuals deserve the same relief from Obamacare as businesses?
My bill would codify the delay of the employer-mandate and extend the same delay to all individuals and families.
Second, delaying the Obamacare mandates until after the 2014 midterm elections would allow American voters to decide the health care law’s fate now that the impact of the law is being felt. Although the House has passed numerous bills to dismantle Obamacare, we do not have the votes in the Senate today to repeal or defund Obamacare.
If we delay the mandates, Americans will be able to decide whether they want to keep Obamacare or replace it with step-by-step, consumer-driven health care reforms.
The House already has taken the first step and passed similar legislation, introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.), to delay the employer and individual mandates. And it was bipartisan. Twenty-two House Democrats recognized the need to give Americans the same relief from Obamacare that businesses are receiving. Over the last several days, a number of Senate Democrats have expressed support for delaying parts or all of the president’s health care law as well.
As the President said last week, Obamacare is more than a website. It’s a law that has real-life consequences to Hoosier families and individuals.
President Obama - before and after Obamacare passed - promised all Americans they could keep their health care plans if they liked them. It was a promise he repeated time and time again.
But that isn’t the case and President Obama has known it for some time. Hundreds of thousands of Americans are receiving notification that their plans are being cancelled because of Obamacare, and reports indicate that the White House has known for three years that these cancellations were coming.

President Obama should keep his word to the American people. The President owes them an apology but most of all a solution.                                            ...

Read more: Senator Coats: Delay Obamacare Mandates


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