IDOT Offers Severe WX Driving Tips

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SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would like to warn of a potentially dangerous line of storms moving through the Midwest that could impact much of the state Wednesday evening and especially Northern Illinois counties.
The storms are expected to bring heavy rains, large hail and strong winds until midnight.  Flash flood watches are in place throughout portions of the state, with flooding possible in low-lying areas, river streams and viaducts.
IDOT is receiving regular updates from the National Weather Service (NWS) and is preparing all districts throughout the state for the possibility of severe weather.  IDOT will continue to coordinate with the NWS and other entities to provide information on pre-storm information as well as post storm response. 
Motorists are urged to take precautions on the roads, as storms could potentially impact driving conditions. 
Severe Weather Driving Tips:
·         Do not drive through flooded areas
  • Be aware of vehicles around you
  • High winds are most problematic for drivers of trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, campers, and drivers who are towing trailers
  • Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down
  • Allow extra distance for braking
·         If your car stalls in high water, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground

For a list of road closures, please visit For real-time updates on today's storms, please visit /.
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DOJ Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Settled Against Griffith

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The Justice Department issued a press release on Tuesday saying it has entered into a consent decree with Griffith that, if approved, will resolve allegations that the Griffith Police Department discriminated against Marlene Starcevich based on her sex, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, the department failed to assign Starcevich, a 22 year veteran, and the only female officer in the history of the Griffith Police Department, to a shift commander position because of her sex when a shift commander position became available in July of 2010. Starcevich has since been assigned to shift commander duties, and under the terms of the consent decree, the police department must also pay her five-thousand dollars in monetary relief, and the town must revise its equal employment opportunity polices to protect its employees from discrimination and conduct training of its personnel regarding these policies.
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Read more: DOJ Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Settled Against Griffith


Donnelly Votes Against Levin Amendment Which Passes 17-9

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Washington, D.C. –Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after voting in the full Senate Armed Services Committee National Defense Authorization Act mark-up on the issue of sexual assault prevention in the military.  Senator Donnelly voted against Chairman Levin’s amendment that removed and replaced existing language sponsored by Senator Gillibrand regarding the chain of command.  Chairman Levin’s amendment passed the Committee, 17 to 9.
“Two weeks ago, I attended a Clothesline Project event at the AmVets in Indianapolis, where dozens of Hoosier survivors of military sexual assault ‘aired’ their stories on t-shirts strung around the room.  Hearing and reading their stories of violent assault, of a lack of justice served, or the retaliation they faced from fellow soldiers was heartbreaking.
“I have concluded that only a significant, serious change to the status quo will lead to a truly ‘zero tolerance’ policy.  Survivors of sexual assault need to regain trust in the United States Armed Forces.
“I am thankful for Chairman Levin’s work on this issue, and I think his proposal is strong and moves us significantly in the right direction.  It goes a long way toward dramatically improving the current system.  Our military and its leaders are working hard to end this scourge against our servicemembers.  However, in light of the seriousness and size of this problem, I supported Senator Gillibrand’s proposal in the mark.  I think this is the right way to go as we seek to enact a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault in the Armed Forces.”
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Read more: Donnelly Votes Against Levin Amendment Which Passes 17-9


Highland Woman Gets 2 Years in Prison for Assisting Killer

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A Highland woman today was sentenced to two years in prison for her role in the death of man her boyfriend killed in 2009. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Andrea Michelle Elliott was charged with felony assisting a criminal, for helping Calvin Peacock bury the body of Kevin Sperry, and also harboring and concealing Peacock. Peacock was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Novermber 2012, after pleading guilty to killing Sperry with a pickaxe during an argument at Peacock's home in October of 2009.
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Read more: Highland Woman Gets 2 Years in Prison for Assisting Killer


IN General Assembly Overrides Veto of HEA 1546

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Members of the Indiana House of Representatives voted 68 to 23 today to override Governor Mike Pence's veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, a measure that retroactively legalizes a tax increase and the revenues collected in Pulaski and Jackson Counties. The Governor's Communications Director says Governor Pence regrets the veto was not upheld and stands by his decision, adding he believes that when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they should be offered relief. House Speaker Brian Bosma says while they appreciate the concerns expressed by the Governor, the issue demanded an immediate solution. According to the press release, the veto would have required over one-thousand employers in the two counties to make mid-year adjustments to their payrolls. In addition, since the two counties need to pay for the ongoing costs of operating the jail, losing funding could put jail operations in jeopardy.
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Body of Army Spc. AJ Roach Jr. to Return to NW IN Tomorrow

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AJ Roach Jr
(Photo Courtesy of
The body of a 20 year old Army Specialist who was killed Friday in a crash while serving at Fort Campbell in Kentucky will be returned to Northwest Indiana tomorrow. Alan Jon (AJ) Roach Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, formerly of Crown Point, is scheduled to arrive at Chicago's O'Hare Aiport around 8:30am. The Indiana Patriot Guard will then pick up the escort with Geisen's  Funeral Home at 61st Avenue and Broadway, scheduled around 10am, but the actual time of arrival could vary due to traffic. Geisen's Funeral Home says visitation for Roach will take place Thursday, from 2pm-8pm, with the funeral service scheduled for 10am Friday, at the funeral home in Crown Point.  Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Crown Point.
In memory of A.J., memorial donations may be given to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
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Read more: Body of Army Spc. AJ Roach Jr. to Return to NW IN Tomorrow


Hoosiers Should Be Vigilant of Severe Weather Tonight

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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers to be aware of the weather tonight as there is a possibility for severe weather and tornadoes.
The National Storm Prediction Center says there is a high risk for severe weather in northern Indiana tonight, while the rest of the state is under a moderate or slight risk. The “high risk” designation is not used often, and means patterns are developing which could cause extreme weather. The National Weather Service says these storms may bring widespread damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning, tornadoes, and torrential rainfall producing flash flooding.
Hoosiers should remain aware of changing weather conditions, and assess the need to travel while severe weather is in the area. Consider bringing any outdoor furniture or items inside.

Power Outages
With weather systems like this, it's not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately.
Take the time now to charge cell phones, laptops and other devices, so that if power goes out, electronic devices will have a maximum charge.

Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:
  • Food and water for three days (includes a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)
For more information visit
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Police Investigating Double Homicide in Gary

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Gary PD
In Gary, police are investigating a double homicide. Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King says two cousins were found shot to death inside a home in Glen Park early this morning in the 49 hundred block of Washington Street. King says officers were dispatched to the scene around 5:30 this morning, for a call of shots fired, and found 18 year old Fredrick Stubbs and 19 year old Dontrell Wilson unresponsive in the bedroom of the residence. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Gary Police Detective James Bond at (219) 881-7300 Ext 3018.
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La Porte Homicide Autopsy Results Released

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La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says it was one of the “most disturbing scenes” he has ever seen in many years as coroner as he reported today on autopsy results regarding the death of 48-year-old Kathy Jemiolo, whose body was found inside her home on “E” Street in La Porte early Tuesday.  Sullivan said the cause of death was multiple blunt force and sharp force trauma-type injuries.  Sullivan said the blunt force injuries to the head were from a baseball bat and sharp force injuries were inflicted by a knife. The autopsy was conducted by a forensic scientist at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka.   La Porte Police announced the woman's husband, 60-year-old Joseph Jemiolo was taken into custody early Tuesday on a preliminary charge of murder. Authorities say Jemiolo served prison time on a manslaughter-related conviction several years ago in connection with the shooting death of his then-wife Nancy Jemiolo in 1978 on the southeast side of La Porte.

Read more: La Porte Homicide Autopsy Results Released


Police Investigate Several Theft Reports in PC

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Porter County Sheriffs Police are reminding residents to lock their doors – cars, homes, garages – after a high number of thefts were reported this past weekend in unincorporated areas around the northern half of the county. Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says thefts ranged from a personal watercraft ... to an insulin delivery outside a home ... to plastic outdoor furniture ... to items taken from unlocked vehicles.  Sgt. LaFlower says there were thefts in Jackson, Liberty, Pine, Portage and Union townships, and overall the thefts were mainly reported from about Friday to Sunday.  Residents are also asked to call police if they see any suspicious persons or activity in the area.

Read more: Police Investigate Several Theft Reports in PC


Train Collides With Farm Vehicle

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Authorities say an Amtrak train that left Indianapolis this morning heading for Chicago collided with a farm vehicle hauling at least a-thousand gallons of anhydrous ammonia in White County today, just west of Monon, and just a couple miles north of State Road 16. White County Emergency Management Director Dean Mullens says it's possible there was leak on impact, but the tank is upright and has been stabilized. None of the more than eighty passengers on the train was said to be hurt; officials say the driver of the farm tractor and the train engineer were transported for minor injuries. Mullens says the train passengers were taken to the Monon Fire Department by school bus after the collision, and they have since left by bus for Chicago.

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Severe Weather Concern for the Region

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Valparaiso University Meteorology Professor Dr. Bart Wolf, who's currently on his second storm-chasing trip this summer, talked to us today from Rapid City, South Dakota, about concern over severe weather back here at home.  Dr. Wolf says local conditions and those accompanying a system moving across the country are "kind of setting the table there for one of the more potent risks we've seen in some time for Northwest Indiana." Dr. Wolf says there's a pretty significant risk especially of damaging straight-line winds,especially this evening into tonight.
To hear our interview with Dr. Bart Wolf this morning, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.

Read more: Severe Weather Concern for the Region


Severe Weather, Heavy Rain Possible

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The National Weather Service says widespread severe weather is expected from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic today [ Wednesday ], with primary threats being large hail and damaging wind gusts. In addition to the severe weather, flooding will be possible as heavy rainfall is expected with the storms that develop and move into these areas.
Photo: Multiple cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes during night-time. Observed during night-time thunderstorm.
Image ID: nssl0010, NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection
Photographer: C. Clark
Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)


Read more: Severe Weather, Heavy Rain Possible


Mayor Clay Services to be Streamed Live

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Funeral Services for Gary Mayor Rudolph "Rudy" Clay are being streamed live on the internet today.  The City of Gary’s Department of Information Technology and Gary’s government access channel WJPN-TV are working together to ensure that the funeral of former Mayor Clay can be viewed by those who are unable to attend.
The ceremony will be streamed live on the internet at 11:00a.m. (CDT) Users should visit then type the words “Gary Access Network” in the search box. Gary residents with Comcast Cable service may view the funeral service live on WJPN-TV Channel 4.
“We know that countless Rudy Clay admirers near and far want to pay their respects,” said Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson. “Thanks to the power of technology, we are giving them the opportunity to share in and witness a historic service via television or the internet.”

The funeral for Mayor Clay will take place Wednesday, June 12 at the Genesis Convention Center at 11:00a.m. In addition to Freeman-Wilson, Rev. Jesse Jackson and Judge Greg Mathis are scheduled to give remarks. The eulogy will be delivered by the Reverend Dr. Essie Clark-George, Presiding Elder of Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Clay also served as Indiana State Senator, County Recorder, County Councilman, County Commissioner in Lake County before becoming Mayor of Gary in 2006, and winning re-election the next year. Clay left politics two years ago because of prostate cancer. Clay was 77.

Read more: Mayor Clay Services to be Streamed Live


Man Accused of Photographing Woman at Store

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Police in Hobart say a 21-year-old Hobart man was being held without bond Tuesday after allegedly being spotted exposing himself and taking pictures up a woman's skirt at the Kohl's Department Store on US 30. Authorities say Ashley Javon Toney has been charged in Lake County court with sexual battery, public indecency, public voyeurism and public nudity. Police say Toney is a registered sex offender who was previously convicted of sexual battery and criminal confinement in Porter County.

Read more: Man Accused of Photographing Woman at Store


Lake Council Debates, Agrees on E911 Post

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After some debate, the Lake County Council eventually agreed on a 112-thousand dollar annual salary for their new E-911 director, who'll be responsible for guiding the consolidation of Lake County's seventeen separate 911 systems by the end of 2014 –as mandated by state law – to prevent the county from losing millions in public safety dollars from the state. Lake County Commissioners named 50-year-old Brian Hitchcock of Davenport, Iowa, an E911 director for the Quad Cities area, to the position, pending the county council create a salary for him in the budget.  Hitchcock is a Minnesota native who helped guide consolidation of E-911 services for 30 public safety agencies in the Quad Cities area and elsewhere in the Midwest.

Read more: Lake Council Debates, Agrees on E911 Post


Hammond School Supt in Accident

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The school superintendent of Hammond Schools told the the Times he was lucky to have survived an accident around 11-o'clock Saturday morning that police say showed the district vehicle, a Jeep Grand Cherokee, went through the parking lot of a donut shop at 173rd and Calumet Avenue, then crossed 173rd and struck a brick wall, fence and storage building, before crashing into a wooden playhouse in someone's yard. The report says 66-year-old Walter Watkins received a ticket for unreasonable speed.


Read more: Hammond School Supt in Accident


Hammond Man Found Guilty of Child Molesting

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A Hammond man charged with molesting a young relative has been found guilty by a jury.   Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter on Tuesday announced Christopher Galvan was convicted for the incidents that occurred between August of 2011 and February 2012, and will be sentenced on July 3rd.
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Read more: Hammond Man Found Guilty of Child Molesting


Porter Co Police Present Medals at Special Olympics

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2013 Summer Games - Stephanie 106
(Photos Courtesy of the Porter County Sheriff's Office)
2013 Summer Games - Stephanie 109
Members of the Porter County Sheriff's Office over the weekend were in Terre Haute for the Special Olympics. Sgt. Larry LaFlower says he, along with Officer Paul Czupryn, visited the campus of Indiana State University on Saturday to present medals, and found the experience to be both very fun and rewarding.
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PUC Ranked 2nd in State for Quality and Affordability

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purdue university calumet
            HAMMOND, Ind. — Purdue University Calumet is Indiana’s No. 2-ranked college/university for providing a quality education at an affordable price.
            The College Database recently released its rankings of top Indiana higher educational institutions based on best financial return on investment. Purdue Calumet is ranked behind Purdue University at West Lafayette.
            “Value and affordability comprise the cornerstone of the Purdue education we offer at Purdue Calumet,” Chancellor Thomas L. Keon said. “This recognition verifies that an education built on academic excellence that enables personal and professional success can be both high quality and reasonably priced.”   

Rankings metric
            For its rankings, The College Database used a metric that considers institutions with annual tuition rates of less than $20,000 and new graduates who earn an average annual salary of at least $40,000. The College Database reported that recent Purdue Calumet graduates command an average annual salary of $42,900, while the tuition Purdue Calumet students pay is the lowest among ranked institutions.
            “With the cost of college a concern for many families, it’s important for students to find a school that produces successful, well-paid graduates,” Matt Davis, managing director of communication & partnerships for The College Database, said. “We believe it’s equally important to recognize the colleges and universities that offer both quality and affordable post-secondary options.”

Rankings of Indiana institutions
            Nine institutions qualified for The College Database Indiana rankings. They are:
1.     Purdue University (West Lafayette)
2.     Purdue University Calumet
3.     Indiana University (Bloomington)
4.     IIT Technical Institute (Indianapolis)
5.     Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
6.     Indiana State University
7.     Ball State University
8.     Indiana University-Purdue University Ft. Wayne (IPFW)
9.     University of Southern Indiana
            The College Database, according to its web site, uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau and American Fact Finder to develop its rankings. More comprehensive information can be accessed at the College Database website.

Other recent Purdue Calumet recognitions
            Purdue Calumet’s ranking by The College Database follows other recent recognitions the university has received, including:
·       “Best College/University” -- The Times of NW Indiana Best of the Region 2013 readership survey;
·       “Best Adult Educational Institution” – The Times of NW Indiana Best of the Region 2013 readership survey;
·       “Best University for Attaining a Technology Degree” – 2013 Best of Northwest Indiana Business magazine readership survey;
·       Top 100 status in awarding degrees to minority students – Diverse: Issues in Higher Educationmagazine.  
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Read more: PUC Ranked 2nd in State for Quality and Affordability


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Region News Team
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Region News Team


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