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UPDATE: NICTD Reports Train Service Resumes

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Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) is reporting that all South Shore train service has resumed. Inbound South Shore and Metra Electric trains had been stopped in the vicinity of Van Buren this morning due to the report of a suspicious package at Van Buren and Michigan. Van Buren is the stop before Millennium Station at Randolph Street. The package has reportedly been secured....

Read more: UPDATE: NICTD Reports Train Service Resumes

 

Police Respond to Suspicious Package in Chicago

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Traffic-Alert
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District reports inbound South Shore trains are being stopped in the vicinity of Van Buren Street due to police activity. Metra Electric District is also reporting inbound trains are being halted in the vicinity of Van Buren.  Chicago Police and Fire units are responding to the report of a suspicious package in the area of Van Buren and Michigan. The Van Buren stop is the last one before Millennium Station at Randolph Street. Estimated length of delays unknown at this time. ...

Read more: Police Respond to Suspicious Package in Chicago

 

Sen Donnelly Academy Information Nights Postponed

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Due to the current government shutdown, Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly's office has announced all their Academy Information Night events scheduled around the state, including northwest Indiana, will be postponed until further notice.
The five events were meant for high schoolers interested in applying for one of the five Military Service Academies to help students navigate the application process and outline the additional requirements that are needed to be considered for a nomination from Senator Donnelly.   
The dates for all Military Service Academy Information Nights events were as follows:
Monday, September 30
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office , 205 W. Colfax Avenue, South Bend, Indiana
Tuesday, October 1
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office, 203 East Berry Street, Suite 702B, Fort Wayne, Indiana
TIME:    5:00 PM 7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office, 702 North Shore Drive, Jeffersonville, Indiana
Wednesday, October 2
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM EDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office, 10 West Market Street, Suite 1180, Indianapolis, Indiana
Thursday, October 3
TIME:     5:00 – 7:00 PM CDT
WHERE: Senator Donnelly’s Regional Office, 123 NW 4th Street, Suite 417, Evansville, Indiana
TIME:     5:00 PM -7:00 PM CDT
WHERE: American Legion Post #94, 4 Monroe Street, Valparaiso, Indiana...

Read more: Sen Donnelly Academy Information Nights Postponed

 

Hunter Injured in Fall from Tree Stand

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Indiana Conservation Officers say they are investigating an accident in which a hunter fell to the ground from an elevated tree stand. Officials issued a news release saying 18-year-old Tyler Claus of DeMotte was hunting in Newton County when he fell approximately 20 feet to the ground from his deer hunting stand. The investigation revealed Claus fell asleep prior to falling. He was able to use his cell phone to call a friend who was hunting nearby. He was treated at the scene by the Newton County EMS for a possible broken hip then transported to Riverside Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois for further treatment. The Indiana DNR says elevated tree stand falls are one of the most common deer hunting accidents investigated by Conservation Officers throughout the state.  Indiana Conservation officers say tree stand falls can be prevented by using proper equipment that includes: steady well constructed stands, sturdy ladders, and a full body safety harness. The Indiana DNR also says It is prudent for hunters to carry cell phones, and let others know when and where they will be hunting. Deer hunters may also hunt from ground blinds. Visit www.in.gov/dnr/ for hunting laws, and regulations pertaining to ground blinds. ...

Read more: Hunter Injured in Fall from Tree Stand

 

Region Students Affected by Federal Shutdown

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Campers and visitors aren't the only one affected by the closure of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in the federal government shutdown. Region grade-schoolers won't be able to use cabins at the Lakeshore for their annual three-day science and history program that was scheduled through the Dunes Learning Center.
The local IRS office is closed in northwest Indiana, and some Region homebuyers could face delays as paperwork goes on hold, with lenders being unable to verify certain information with the federal government.
The US Mail will keep being delivered. The US Postal Service is controlled by Congress, but it doesn't get tax dollars for day to day operations.

...

Read more: Region Students Affected by Federal Shutdown

 

Hoosier Lottery Launches 'Walking Dead' Scratch-Off

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The Hoosier Lottery is introducing a new scratch-off game based on the hit AMC television series THE WALKING DEAD™.  The game launched October 1, in time for the premiere of the show's fourth season on Sunday, October 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.   
The $2 Scratch-off features multiple scenes from the show and offers the chance to win up to $15,000. THE WALKING DEAD™ Scratch-off is available at approximately 4,000 Hoosier Lottery retailers around the state.  
THE WALKING DEAD™ Scratch-off is officially licensed from MDI Entertainment.  AMC's THE WALKING DEAD™ is one of the highest-rated shows on television among adults 18 to 49 and has more than 18 million Facebook fans.
Profits from the sale of THE WALKING DEAD ™ Scratch-off, and all Hoosier Lottery games, benefit all 92 counties. Each fiscal year, the Hoosier Lottery contributes $30 million to Police and Firefighters' Pensions, and $30 million to the Teacher's Retirement Fund. The remainder of Hoosier Lottery earnings help reduce motor vehicle excise taxes by 50 percent.
The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play.  Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.   ...

Read more: Hoosier Lottery Launches 'Walking Dead' Scratch-Off

 

Lake Co Has Income Tax, Jasper Co Rate Decreases

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The Indiana Department of Revenue says four counties --  Allen, Hancock, Jasper and Washington counties -- have changed their county income tax rates effective Oct. 1, 2013. Lake County has adopted a new county income tax effective Oct. 1, 2013.
The changes for Allen, Jasper and Washington counties are as follows:
Allen – The resident rate has increased from .01 to .0135. The nonresident rate has increased from 0.0055 to 0.006375.
Hancock – The resident rate has increased from .0155 to .0165. The nonresident rate has increased from .0035 to .0045.
Jasper – The resident rate has decreased from .03114 to .02964.
Washington – The resident rate has increased from .015 to .02.
In addition to those that changed their rates, Lake County is the final county in Indiana to adopt a county income tax rate. Lake County has adopted a resident rate of .015 and a nonresident rate of .0025, effective Oct. 1, 2013.
Local income tax rates are established or adjusted by county officials and reported to the Department of Revenue, where they are cross-referenced to ensure they are supported by Indiana law.
The list of rates for all Indiana counties is available on the Indiana Department of Revenue’s website. These rates affect businesses with employees who live or work in any of these counties and have income tax withholdings.
The Indiana law that allows counties’ local tax rates to change throughout the year has new effective dates, per the 2013 legislation. Now, rates adopted by the county:
After Dec 31 and before Sept 1 take effect on Oct 1.
After Aug 31 and before Nov 1 take effect on Jan 1 of the following year.
Unlike previous years, no ordinance can be adopted Nov 1 through Dec 31.The Indiana Department of Revenue will publish further rate changes (if any) to its website on Jan 1.
The list of the rates is available at www.in.gov/dor/files/dn01.pdf. For more information about how Lake County will adopt this new rate, visit www.in.gov/dor/reference/files/lake-county-loit-faqs.pdf....

Read more: Lake Co Has Income Tax, Jasper Co Rate Decreases

 

Efforts Concerning Unemployment Benefits Continue

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Karen Tallian
Indiana State Representative Karen Tallian, of Portage, expressed her appreciation today to the Indiana General Assembly's Unemployment Oversight Committee on their decision to adopt a new policy concerning unemployment benefits. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development will begin accepting bids for providers of debit cards used for unemployment payments. Included in the Request for Proposals is a new provision requiring the availability of direct deposits, which Senator Tallian says she has long advocated for. Tallian says those who are out of job through no fault of their own should not have to jump through additional and unnecessary hoops. In-network ATM's for claimants to use for free transactions or to transfer funds for free are available in most major cities, but she says rural claimants are left with fewer fee-free options....

Read more: Efforts Concerning Unemployment Benefits Continue

 

Lake County Assessor Resigns

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A year long battle with cancer has taken its toll on Lake County Assessor, 77 year old Hank Adams, who resigned today from the office he was elected to in 2010, and will not seek re-election. A caucus of Republican precinct committeemen will take place within 30 days to find a replacement to fill the vacancy. ...

Read more: Lake County Assessor Resigns

 

LaPorte PD Wanted Person of the Week: Amanda Hanley

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amanda hanley
(Photo Courtesy of Laporte Police)
A 29 year old LaPorte woman wanted on a warrant from LaPorte Circuit Court for felony theft is this week's “Wanted Person of the Week”. LaPorte Police described Amanda Hanley as a white female, 5'4”, weighing 115 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information on her immediate whereabouts is asked to call 911 and if you have any other information on Hanley, please contact the La Porte Police Department at 362-9446, or La Porte Metro Operations at 325-9022. You can remain anonymous....

Read more: LaPorte PD Wanted Person of the Week: Amanda Hanley

 

LaPorte County Siren System Test Saturday

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A test of the LaPorte County warning siren system is scheduled this weekend. LaPorte County Emergency Management says the test will take place at 11am, Saturday, October 5th, with two, one-minute signals sounding, with one minute of silence between the signals. Authorities reports the siren tests will not take place in the event of severe weather Saturday morning in order to avoid confusion. In the event of a real emergency, a three-minute signal would sound, with a short period of silence between signals, repeated one or more times....

Read more: LaPorte County Siren System Test Saturday

   

Commissioners Make Changes to Health Insurance Plan

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Porter County Commissioners today approved changes to deductibles and co-pays in the county's health insurance plan. Starting January 1st, 2014, traditional plan deductibles go from 500 to one-thousand dollars while the high-deductible plan goes from one-thousand-250 to two-thousand dollars. Co-pays go from 90-10 to 80-20, which is anticipated to save around nine to twelve percent. County employees will now also be able to receive free care for injuries and acute illnesses at CareEXPRESS Urgent Care Center....

Read more: Commissioners Make Changes to Health Insurance Plan

   

Michigan City Man Charged in Death of a Child

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tommy shannon
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 22 year old Michigan City man has been charged with murder and two counts of felony battery in the death of a two-year old child. The Times reports Tommy Shannon Jr. was being held on unrelated charges in Vanderburgh County, when he was brought up to the LaPorte County Jail on Monday, where he is being held without bond. According to the article, Shannon is accused of intentionally killing the child by use of force in LaPorte on August 13th, at a residence located in the two-hundred east block of 7th Street. The child later died due to blunt force trauma to the abdomen at an area hospital. Shannon is the boyfriend of the child's mother, who may also be charged in this case....

Read more: Michigan City Man Charged in Death of a Child

   

Ribbon Cutting in Elkhart for New RV Company HQ

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence today joined executives from Drew Industries Incorporated for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for their new headquarters in Elkhart. The company, a manufacturer of a broad array of components for recreational vehicles, manufactured homes and other industries, announced plans in April to invest 12-point-seven-five million dollars relocate its headquarters from White Plains, New York, to Elkhart and expand its manufacturing operations in Goshen and Elkhart, creating up to 800 new jobs by 2017. As part of the project, the company installed new manufacturing and production lines. Drew Industries and it affiliates have over 44-hundred employees in Indiana, 42-hundred of which are located in Elkhart County. ...

Read more: Ribbon Cutting in Elkhart for New RV Company HQ

   

Pence to Attend Land O' Frost Groundbreaking

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A groundbreaking ceremony takes place tomorrow afternoon in Munster for the new corporate headquarters for Land O' Frost, the nation's second-largest seller of pre-sliced, pre-packaged lunchmeats. The company announced plans last December to invest six-point-four million dollars to relocate its corporate headquarters from Lansing, Illinois, to a three-acre campus in Munster, creating up to 50 new jobs by 2014. Indiana Governor Mike Pence will join company executives at 2:15pm for the groundbreaking and construction on the 27-thousand square-foot facility is scheduled to begin this month and be operational in 2014.
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Read more: Pence to Attend Land O' Frost Groundbreaking

   

Public Meeting on Proposal for New PD in Highland

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Residents in Highland are encouraged to attend a community meeting next week to receive public input on a proposal to construct a new police station. Highland Police Commander George Georgeff says the current police station was built in 1969 and since then they have out-grown the space as the police department has doubled in size.
Commander Georgeff says it is important residents attend because the proposal would be a big project for the town and would be an expense that residents would have to bear on their taxes, so they want residents to know their money would be well spent.
The site for the proposed new police station would be just west of the current police department/town hall, on Cottage Grove Avenue, off Ridge Road. The meeting takes place Monday, October 9th, at 7pm in the Highland Town Hall. Commander Georgeff says presentations will given and residents will be able to have any concerns addressed. ...

Read more: Public Meeting on Proposal for New PD in Highland

   

US Mail Delivery Continues; Other Shutdown Info

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What's open, what's not, who goes to work and who doesn't... during this partial federal government shutdown?  Some quick answers...
The military's active-duty military personnel stay on duty, Congress did pass, and the President signed legislation making sure military paychecks go out on time.
The federal courts are open, thanks to Congressional funding, for the next ten days... and air traffic controllers are at their positions, directing flights into and of out of the nation's airports.
The US mail will keep getting delivered.  The US Postal Service doesn't get tax dollars for day-to-day operations (but it is still controlled by Congress).
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, NOAA.gov and most associated web sites are unavailable. However, because the information this site provides is necessary to protect life and property, meteorologists say the National Weather Service Chicago website, for instance, that shows the forecast, along with watches and warnings, will be updated and maintained during the Federal Government shutdown.   See the message here: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/
National parks are closed, like Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, where Public Information Officer Bruce Rowe told us campers at Dunewood Campground would be given 48-hours to vacate in the event of a shutdown.
The Indiana DNR is getting the word out today that Indiana’s 24 state parks – including Indiana Dunes State Park here in the Region – and eight reservoir properties remain open for business as usual. The Indiana DNR says there is an Indiana state park or reservoir property within a one-hour drive of every Hoosier. October is actually one of the most popular camping months of the year, with autumn- and Halloween-themed events happening at many properties. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is closed during the shutdown. ...

Read more: US Mail Delivery Continues; Other Shutdown Info

   

Indiana State Parks Are Open in the Shutdown

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dunepic3
Although national parks and national wildlife refuges are closed because of the federal government shutdown, Indiana’s 24 state parks – including Indiana Dunes State Park here in the Region – and eight reservoir properties around the state remain open for business as usual. The Indiana DNR says there is an Indiana state park or reservoir property within a one-hour drive of every Hoosier. October is actually one of the most popular camping months of the year, with Autumn- and Halloween-themed events happening at many properties.
“October has become like the busy month of July for our parks and reservoirs,” said Ginger Murphy of the DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs. “If weekends are full at your favorite state park or reservoir, camping on weekdays during your fall break is a great way to enjoy the outdoors.”
Information on state parks and reservoirs is at stateparks.IN.gov. Information on programs and special events is at InterpretiveServices.IN.gov
Information on all DNR properties, all of which remain open during the federal government shutdown, is at dnr.IN.gov/5280.htm . Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is closed during the shutdown.  [Image/Indiana Dunes State Park]

...

Read more: Indiana State Parks Are Open in the Shutdown

   

Emergency Responders Honored in Annual Service

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DSC 0024
Munster police Lt. Edward Strbjak, foreground, was among representatives of area first-responders who attended a 13th annual Mass of Thanksgiving Honoring Law Enforcement Officers, Firefighters and Emergency Medical Services at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Dyer Sept. 27.
Emergency responders in the Region were honored during the annual Franciscan St. Margaret Health Observance. The program takes place during alternating years at Franciscan St. Margaret Health-Hammond.
DSC 0033
The Rev. Theodore Mens St. Mary Church pastor and Griffith Police Department chaplain, praised the officers during the Mass homily.

The Rev. Mens noted how responders tend to the problems of those they serve while sometimes dealing with personal issues, that must be put aside. “In my experiences with the police,” Mens said, “they always respect the dignity of the person; they are polite and simply point out the wrong someone has done. Emergency services providers are servants, protectors of the people – they have love for people as they try to keep them safe. We thank them and pray our society will continue to be served by our wonderful police and fire personnel.” The program is sponsored by the hospitals’ Mission and Spiritual Care Department. [Provided]...

Read more: Emergency Responders Honored in Annual Service

   

State's First Underwater Preserve Dedicated in NW Ind

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jd marshall
The state's first underwater nature preserve -- a one-hundred acre shipwreck area, six-hundred feet offshore of Indiana Dunes State Park in Lake Michigan -- was dedicated Monday morning. The J.D. Marshall, a 154-foot wooden commercial vessel built for the lumber trade then converted to a sand barge, capsized in a storm in June 1911, killing four crew members. Seven survived.  The preserve will be marked by buoys to protect the remains of the ship and keep boats from dropping anchor there. The Marshall's huge cast-iron propeller is at the park, and other artifacts are on display at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center. [Photo/Indiana Natural Resources Commission]...

Read more: State's First Underwater Preserve Dedicated in NW Ind

   

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