About 300 Attend Amtrak Summit in Lafayette

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A meeting was held Wednesday in Lafayette to discuss the possibility that Indianapolis to Chicago Amtrak route, or the Hoosier State line, could end after September 30th. Last year it was decided by the federal government that they would no longer put forth funds to operate lines under 750 miles starting in October, thus requiring state assistance. Almost 300 people attended the meeting where experts went over the benefits to the state in keeping the route open and from legislators and transportation officials who stated the cost is too high. Ultimately, INDOT will make the final call on what becomes of this issue, and will release a study looking at the cost benefits of expanding or ending the service next month.
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Read more: About 300 Attend Amtrak Summit in Lafayette


Two Teens Charged with Taking Items from Vehicles

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Two male teenagers were taken into custody and charged Wednesday for receiving stolen property and for violating curfew. LaPorte Police report they received some calls, around 3am Wednesday, of items being taken from vehicles. Police first located a 16 year old, in the area West 16th and K Street, carrying a soft-sided case that matched the description of one stolen in the one-hundred block of I Street. Police then observed a second teen while placing the first teen in custody, who fled but was later apprehended and found with various items also reported stolen from vehicles.
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Read more: Two Teens Charged with Taking Items from Vehicles


Mother and Son Bitten by Family Dog in Cedar Lake

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Cedar lake Metro PD
A Cedar Lake mother and her nine-year old son were both treated for their injuries after being bitten by the family dog Wednesday afternoon. Cedar Lake Police report the 27 year old mother informed officers at the scene that for unknown reasons the dog bite her son, and then bit her while she attempted to separate the boy from the dog, which is believed to be a pit bull type breed. Police say the incident occurred within the family's home.
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Read more: Mother and Son Bitten by Family Dog in Cedar Lake


Draft Appraisal for Gary Airport Maybe Delayed

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A draft appraisal that was to be delivered to potential investors at a pre-bid meeting for the Gary/Chicago International Airport privatization earlier this month may not be available to those looking to invest by the bid deadline of August 26th. An appraisal of 700 acres, 600 of airport property and 100 acres owned by the city of Gary, is thought to be a major piece in getting investors to bid on the airport and manage it.
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Read more: Draft Appraisal for Gary Airport Maybe Delayed


Merrillville Residents: Rain Barrel Order Deadline is 9/5

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Rain barrel
The deadline to order and take part in Merrillville's rain barrel program, is coming up. Matt Lake, Executive Director of the City's Stormwater Utility says the program encourages residents to conserve water by capturing and recycling it from their roofs for use on their property. Lake says a 55 gallon rain barrel collects about 20-thousand gallons of rain annually on average.
The barrels are available in a variety of colors, and cost 51 to 56-dollars. The deadline to order is September 5th. Lake says order forms are available at town hall and at the barrel manufacturer's website
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Read more: Merrillville Residents: Rain Barrel Order Deadline is 9/5


Arrest Made in Solidier's Park Exposure Incident

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LaPorte PD
A 58 year old New Carlisle, Indiana man accused of indecent exposure last week in LaPorte's Solidier's Park has surrendered himself on a warrant. LaPorte Police report Patrick Timmins is charged with public indecency, for allegedly exposing himself to a man he had just spoke with in the area of the channel walking bridge. The victim called police and left the park, only to be followed by the suspect in his vehicle. The victim then went back to the park to wait for police, and after they arrived, the suspect drove by and was stopped by officers.
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Read more: Arrest Made in Solidier's Park Exposure Incident


Motorists Asked to Avoid US 35 Near MC Due to Crash

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Tipster reporting a crash in LaPorte County this morning on U-S 35, about a mile south of Michigan City.  Authorities ask that motorists avoid the area if possible until after 8:30am.  No further information is available at this time.

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Read more: Motorists Asked to Avoid US 35 Near MC Due to Crash


Rally in Indy Against Proposed Gay Marriage Ban

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A Freedom Indiana kick-off rally was held Wednesday in Indianapolis, organized by a bipartisan group of business, social and civic groups, to stop a proposed amendment to the state constitution to ban civil unions and gay marriage in Indiana.  The current law in the Hoosier state only allows marriage between a man and a woman, and the proposed amendment has been endorsed by the Governor, House Speaker and the Senate President.  During the rally, Freedom Indiana announced that they plan to build and support grassroots organizations to urge lawmakers to vote against the proposal.
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Read more: Rally in Indy Against Proposed Gay Marriage Ban


E 911 Service Consolidation Cost Estimates

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A new state law mandating a consolidated E-911 service is going to cost over six-point-six million dollars annually, according to Lake County officials.  The Times reports a Merrillville accounting firm estimated the annual contributions communities in the county will have to pay, with Gary and Hammond being the largest annual contributors, at over one-point-two million dollars and one-million dollars respectively.  According to the article, the county government would contribute two-point-four million in telephone user fees and officials must decide whether to borrow or set aside future tax revenues to purchase or lease at least 12 million dollars in communication devices.   It is estimated that the operational cost of the service will be over nine-million dollars.
Cedar Lake $131,463.00
Crown Point $347,080.00
Dyer $219,933.00
East Chicago $972,431.00
Griffith $198,258.00
Hammond $1,050,365.00
Hobart $358,493.00
Highland $293,208.00
Lake Station $117,884.00
Lowell $190,192.00
Merrillville $364,374.00
Munster $296,585.00
Schererville $381,204.00
St. John $308,001.00
Whiting $173,811.00
Gary $1,212,190.00
New Chicago $16,967.00
Lake County $425,676.00
Total: $7,058,115.00
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Read more: E 911 Service Consolidation Cost Estimates


Gas Leak Disrupts Traffic at Lakes of the 4 Seasons

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4 seasons picture
Traffic going in and out of Lakes of Four Seasons was hampered shorty after 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon as utility crews had to repair a natural gas leak near the main entrance to the subdivision.  The incident occurred when a 52-year old Four Seasons resident was in his car exiting the subdivision when his car repotedly swerved into a security vehicle pushing that vehicle into the gate house.  Larry Graham, spokesperson for NIPSCO says the vehicle then hit a gas meter mounted to the building, rupturing the gas line that connects to the meter, causing the leak.  Graham says the security vehicle and gate house sustain only minimal damage while the car was towed from the scene. No injuries were reported.


Read more: Gas Leak Disrupts Traffic at Lakes of the 4 Seasons


Teen Suspects Arrested at 1st Day of School

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portage pd
Two male juveniles suspected of vandalizing property about two weeks ago in the Savannah Heights area of Portage, have been taken into custody. 
Police Chief Troy Williams says over a dozen of the reported incidents consisted of racial slurs, racial symbols, broken car windows, defecating on a vehicle and spray painting numerous vehicles and residences, causing an estimated $25,000 to $30,000 in damages. 
Chief Troy says after parents of the suspects refused to cooperate and failed to meet with department detectives as previously scheduled on Tuesday, the 16 and 17 year olds were arrested Wednesday morning at their respective high schools (Portage High School and Hebron high School). 
The police chief thanks the public for their input the department received once suspect photos were released on social and print media sites.  He also acknowledges the department's detectives who worked tirelessly to bring a resolution to these" numerous, senseless acts of vandalism."
Chief Troy also encourages parents to talk with their children about the "effects and consequences" that "pointless acts of destruction" can cause in terms of distress for the victims and the cost of reimbursing for damages.  
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Read more: Teen Suspects Arrested at 1st Day of School


Officers Visible to Keep Schools Safe, 1st Day Back

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Valpo PD
Valparaiso Police Officers used the first day of school to visit principals, parents, teachers and students at schools throughout the city. Officers were visible throughout schools and school zones to show their commitment in keeping schools throughout Valparaiso a safe place for all who attend.
The high visibility of officers throughout schools and school zones will be a common site for individuals visiting the schools early this school year.
Motorist should be reminded that all Valparaiso Schools are back in session and caution should be used when driving through school zones. All speed limits are reduced in school zones and officers will be enforcing the reduce speed limits.

Read more: Officers Visible to Keep Schools Safe, 1st Day Back


East Chicago Teen Faces Animal Cruelty Charges

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On Monday the Lake County Sheriff’s Department filed Animal Cruelty charges with the Lake County Prosecutors Office, Juvenile Division against a 17-year-old juvenile living in East Chicago, IN.  The juvenile did confess to investigators that, during the week of August 4, 2013, he felt “bored” and decided to use a compound bow and arrows to “hunt” kittens living in the alley behind his residence.  The juvenile did subsequently kill three kittens in total – one of which was speared through the head and one of which was disemboweled.  This juvenile then subsequently posted photos of himself playing with the speared and disemboweled kittens on Facebook.  The Lake County Sheriff’s Department believes Facebook eventually removed the photographs due to their objectionable nature.
Charges filed against the juvenile include “Killing A Domestic Animal,” a D Felony and “Torturing Or Mutilating A Domestic Animal,” also a D Felony.
Any questions regarding this case can be directed to Lake County Sheriff’s Department Detective Michelle Dvorscak at 219-755-3346.

Read more: East Chicago Teen Faces Animal Cruelty Charges


Taltree puts out call for Green-minded Volunteers

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Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is looking for environmentally and community minded individuals to join their volunteer task force.  Volunteer opportunities include tending gardens, giving tours, and helping with special events. This hands-on experience offers endless opportunities to learn and teach about the native landscape and wildlife of Northwest Indiana. Volunteers can work with outside community groups and join special on-site volunteer teams to assist with ongoing projects, such as the Bluebird Watch Team.
Volunteers who serve at least 40 hours receive the following benefits: free individual membership, on-site class and service discounts, special event entry, volunteer outings, and more. Taltree’s volunteer program also is good for active volunteers seeking to fulfill needed hours for conservation certification program such as Master Naturalist and Master Gardeners.
“We truly appreciate our volunteers. Without them Taltree would not be what it is today,” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “Hard-working, kind-hearted volunteers are the foundation of every great not-for-profit and ours rank among the best.”
The next Taltree new volunteer orientation class is Wednesday, August 28 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. RSVP by Monday, August 26 to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 219-462-0025. The class will be held at Taltree Arboretum & Gardens’ main office located at 71 N. 500 West, Valparaiso. The class also includes an orientation hike. Volunteers should wear comfortable shoes and dress for the outdoors.
Recently voted the Best of the Region, Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a beautiful 360-acre oasis of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands, and prairies that offers a variety of events, classes, and exhibits.
As a 501(c)3 public charity, all proceeds received power Taltree’s education, restoration, and conservation initiatives. Support Taltree’s efforts by becoming a member! As a member you can enjoy Taltree’s beautiful grounds year round and receive discounts on educational programs and at The Taltree Store. You’ll enjoy other benefits too, like admission discounts into other American Horticultural Society garden locations, garden magazine discount subscriptions and shopping discounts at these area nurseries: Chesterton Feed & Garden Center, Jake’s Feed & Garden, and Four Seasons Landscaping Nursery, Inc.
Taltree main entrance is located at 450 West 100 North, near Valparaiso, Indiana in Northern Indiana, just south of U.S. 30, approximately 15 minutes east of Interstate 65. For more information, visit or follow Taltree on Twitter at @TaltreeArb and Facebook at

Read more: Taltree puts out call for Green-minded Volunteers


Lake Ridge School Student Reportedly Battered

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Lake Co. Sherrif
According to a press relase from Sgt. Patti Van Til of the Lake County Sheriff's Department, on Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at approximately 7:00 am, seven Lake Ridge Middle School students were waiting for the school bus in the area of 24th and Gerry Street in Gary, Indiana.  While waiting at the bus stop, a black 4 door Chevy Impala drove up to the students, 2 male black subjects and 2 female black subjects exited the vehicle and advised the students that something bad would happen to them if they didn’t give up their money and cell phones.  One of the students responded that they didn’t have anything and she was going to call police.  One of the female suspects, referred to as “LaKiesha” by her companions, proceeded to batter the student by punching the student to the face, she was joined by the second female suspect who then hit her about her person.  A resident of the neighborhood exited their home and yelled that she had called the police at which time the suspects fled the area in their vehicle.  The suspects are described as follows: 1st female:   mid 20’s, light skinned African American, dyed blonde hair in a ponytail, wearing a pink shirt and blue jean shorts. 2nd female:   mid 30’s, dark skinned African American, wearing a blue shirt with blue and purple pajama bottoms, and a white and black hat. 2 males:   late 30’s or early 40’s. The student victim sustained a bloody nose and lip.  The students did not recognize any of the suspects.
It was also reported to Lake County Police around the same time, in the 6800 block of West 25th Avenue in Gary, Indiana, a male adult resident was approached by subjects believed to be the same group of males and females asking for directions.  One of the suspects pushed the resident who then fled. Further a resident in the area of 25th and Henry Street in Gary, Indiana also reported that a sixth grade student also waiting for the bus was approached by this group of suspects asking if the student had seen their lost puppy.  At this point the parent yelled to the suspects who then fled. Anyone with information please contact Lake County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer Zabrina Harris at the Lake Ridge Middle School at 219.980.0730.

Read more: Lake Ridge School Student Reportedly Battered


Water Main Break, Columbia @ 150th in Hammond

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Repair crews are on the scene of a broken water main in Hammond at the intersection of Columbia Avenue and 150th St.  According to reports, a construction crew working in the area hit a water main causing high standing water on Columbia Avenue near 150th St....

Read more: Water Main Break, Columbia @ 150th in Hammond


PC Community Foundation gives Grant to Healthlinc

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(L- R) Porter County Community Foundation Board Member Jane Maxwell presents grant check to Healthlilnc CEO Beth Wrobel at Healthlinc's new clinic in Valparaiso
The Porter County Community Foundation presented a grant check to HealthLinc, Inc. to assist with the purchase of optometry equipment for its new Valparaiso clinic on Sturdy Road.  “We are happy to be able to help our local nonprofits expand their services to meet the growing needs in Porter County,” said Barb Young, President of the Porter County Community Foundation.  “We are proud of HealthLinc’s success and what it provides for our community.”  The health clinic now offers comprehensive patient care at the new facility with the addition of optometry to its medical, dental, behavioral health services and pharmacy. 
The Foundation strengthens the work of nonprofits through grants and programs designed to help them do their work better.  In 2012, the Foundation was able to provide more than $1.8 million in grants, investing in critical services for individuals and families throughout Porter County.
The Foundation inspires giving and engages our community to improve lives in Porter County now and forever.  To learn more, visit online at or call (219) 465-0294.

(photo provided)

Read more: PC Community Foundation gives Grant to Healthlinc


Crash Closes Entrance to Lakes of the 4 Seasons

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Shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday, fire crews responded to a report of a vehicle versus a building in the 1000 block of N. Lakeshore Drive at Lakes of the Four Seasons.  Traffic tipsters reported that the guard shack at the subdivision's main entrance was reportedly struck by a vehilce contianing only the driver.  No injuries were reported but the accident caused a natural gas leak.  NPSCO repair crews were called to the scene and as a result of the leak the main entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons remains closed at this time.
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Read more: Crash Closes Entrance to Lakes of the 4 Seasons


Witnesses Report Animal Abuse Incident in LaPorte

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LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte took possession of a three-legged dog that witnesses report was kicked continuously by a woman Tuesday night in the one-thousand block of Maple Avenue.   LaPorte Police report the woman told officers at the scene the dog belonged to her ex-boyfriend, and denied kicking the animal, which police reported as being very skittish and that it appeared to be malnourished and in a state of neglect.  The dog was taken to the LaPorte County Animal Shelter and a review of criminal charges has been forwarded to the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office.
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Read more: Witnesses Report Animal Abuse Incident in LaPorte


No Injuries after Crane Fire at US Steel Portage Plant

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No one was reported injured and operations were not impacted according to US Steel officials after a small fire in a crane Tuesday night at their Portage facility.  Firefighters from Portage were called in to assist and provided an aerial truck to battle the fire, which is under investigation.
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Read more: No Injuries after Crane Fire at US Steel Portage Plant


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Laura-WZVN Scott-WZVN Brent-WZVN
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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