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Coats Continues Fight to Delay Obamacare Mandates

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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) today urged passage of his legislation to delay the individual and employer mandates included in Obamacare until 2015.Yesterday Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered Coats’ legislation as an amendment to the Energy Efficiency Bill, currently under consideration in the Senate.
“I am pleased to have the support of Leader McConnell and will work with him to attach this language as an amendment to any legislation coming before the Senate,” added Coats. “This bill passed the House of Representatives with the support of both Republicans and several Democrats. If Democrats, Republicans and a majority of Americans agree this law is not working, then let’s do something now before Obamacare’s full impact on our economy takes effect.”
The Obama administration announced this summer that it will delay penalties for employers who do not provide health insurance coverage to workers, but penalties on individuals not purchasing insurance would still apply.
“Hoosier families and individuals deserve the same relief from Obamacare that the administration has given businesses,” said Coats. “I believe the best way to prevent this approaching train wreck from hitting Americans is to delay the Obamacare mandates so we can work to replace the health care law with a plan that actually reduces costs and puts patients in the driver seat of their health care decisions. I urge the Senate to allow a vote on this legislation so we can remove the burden of Obamacare from the backs of all Americans.”
In July, the House of Representatives passed legislation offered by Rep. Todd Young (R-Ind.) that officially delays these two mandates. Coats’ legislation mirrors the House-passed bill.
The Coats legislation is supported by the Senate Republican leadership team and co-sponsored by 33 senators: Senators Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Tim Scott (R-S.C.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Jeff Chiesa (R-N.J.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), John Thune (R-S.D.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).
Click &feature=youtu.be">here  to watch Coats discuss his legislation on the Senate floor.
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9 Year Old Boy Reports Being Threatened with a Gun

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A 9 year old boy was allegedly chased down, pushed off his bicycle, dragged across the ground and had a gun pointed at his face this afternoon at 6 Canterbury Circle. The Porter County Sheriff's Office reports officers were dispatched to the scene just before 1:30pm, who searched the area for the suspect, which produced negative results. Authorities report there were no signs or evidence of a “scuffle” in the area of where the alleged incident took place and no one in the park witnessed the incident. The boy informed officers he did not know the suspect, who is described as a white male, 5'9”, weighing 170 to 180 pounds, approximately 15 to 16 years old, with dark hair, sideburnswearing a brown shirt and light blue shorts. The Sheriff's Office reports the boy never deviated from his original version of what had occurred, and while there were no marks or reddness consistent with being dragged on him, or grass stains on his clothing, the frames of his glasses were bent, and there was a large tree in the yard where the boy alleges he was dragged to, where the suspect reportedly pointed the gun at him, and stated, “stay there or else you'll be dead.” Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Porter County Sheriff's Office.
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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

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INDIANAPOLIS—September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and State health officials want Hoosier parents to be aware of the risks and symptoms. Although childhood cancers are rare, representing less than one percent of all new cancer diagnoses, cancer is the second leading cause of death among children.
“Cancer is a dreaded diagnosis and is especially difficult when it strikes a child,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess. “Parents should be aware that early symptoms for cancer in children are usually nonspecific. It is important that children have regular medical checkups and that parents address any unusual symptoms that persist.”
According to the American Cancer Society, there will be nearly 12,000 new cancer diagnoses among children (0-14 years) this year in the United States. Fortunately, with recent advances in cancer treatment, long-term survival rates for children continue to improve. Childhood cancers can be treated by a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, chosen based on the type and stage of cancer.
Children should have annual well-child exams during which their health care provider will ask about any unusual symptoms. Parents should discuss any of the following symptoms with a health care provider:
  • Unusual mass or swelling
  • Prolonged, unexplained fever or illness
  • Unexplained paleness or loss of energy
  • Frequent headaches, especially if accompanied by vomiting
  • Sudden tendency to bruise
  • Sudden eye or vision changes
  • Persistent, localized pain
  • Excessive, rapid weight loss

To learn more about childhood cancer in Indiana, visit the Indiana Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 report, a comprehensive report on the burden of cancer in Indiana, by visiting www.indianacancer.org.

Organizations interested in impacting the burden of cancer in Indiana should participate in the Indiana Cancer Consortium (ICC).  The ICC is a statewide network of partnerships whose mission is to reduce the cancer burden in Indiana through the development, implementation and evaluation of a comprehensive plan that address cancer across the continuum from prevention through palliation. Participation in the ICC is open to all organizations and individuals interested in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, quality of life, data collection and advocacy regarding cancer-related issues. To become a member of the ICC and find additional information about cancer prevention and control in Indiana, visit the ICC’s website at www.indianacancer.org.
For more information, visit www.StateHealth.in.gov. Follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.
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Cause of Death Released for Woman Who Drove into Lake

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Preliminary autopsy results of the 83 year old Valparaiso woman who died at an area hospital after being pulled from her vehicle after it went into Lake George Wednesday indicated she died from complications of a pre-existing medical condition. The Lake County Coroners Office reported Shirley Gronlund was pronounced dead about four hours after her vehicle entered the lake, near Front Street, behind the Hobart branch of the Lake County Public Library.
Hobart Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Ogden says officers were dispatched to the scene around 3pm and a witness informed them the woman was driving on Cleveland Avenue when she reportedly struck something, along her way towards the downtown area of Hobart. Once in the downtown area, the woman continued down Center Street and ultimately drove into the boardwalk area, through a guardrail and into the lake where her vehicle slowly submerged.
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Pence Meets with More Automotive Industry Leaders

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(Photo Courtesy of the Governor's Office)
NAGOYA, Japan – Governor Mike Pence spent the day in Tokyo and Nagoya meeting with the leaders of several major Japanese automakers that currently employ thousands of Hoosiers to thank them for choosing to do business in Indiana and discuss possible plans for expansion.
“Indiana’s skilled workforce is the best-in-the-nation option for automotive companies looking for advanced manufacturing expertise,” said Pence. “Jobs are job one, and this is just another step that’s driving us toward increased employment. After multiple meetings today with automotive executives, we discussed what the companies are seeking for their next expansion and what Indiana can provide them as a state that works for business.”
The governor joined Mr. Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president and chief executive officer of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd., the parent company of Subaru, for a meeting at the company’s global headquarters in Tokyo where the group discussed the success of the Lafayette production facility. Yesterday, the governor met with Subaru leadership and toured its facilities in Ota City.
The governor also met with Honda Motor Co., Ltd., president and chief executive officer Mr. Takanobu Ito, to discuss Honda’s Greensburg operations. Pence presented Mr. Ito with a scale model of the 2013 Dallara IndyCar with A State That Works detailing. Honda Racing provides engines and is a major sponsor of the Indianapolis-based IndyCar Racing League.
During the afternoon, the governor traveled southwest of Tokyo by train to Nagoya where he met separately with executives from three Japanese companies. Pence first visited with executives from Toyota Tsusho Corp., which has Indiana locations in Columbus, Lafayette and Princeton. He then met with leaders of Sugiura Seisakusho Co., Ltd., the parent company of Columbus-based Sunright America, and another company currently considering operations in Indiana.
In July, Pence joined executives from Sunright America to break ground on the company’s most recent expansion in Columbus. The company recently announced plans to invest $34.7 million to construct and equip two additional facilities on its Columbus campus, creating up to 103 new jobs by 2016. Sunright is a tier one supplier to Toyota, with most of all nuts on Toyota cars in America manufactured – 5 million pieces per day – at the Columbus facility.
Japan-based companies are large contributors to the Indiana economy- more than 44,000 Hoosiers are employed by the more than 200 Japanese companies in the state with investments totaling more than $10 billion. Indiana is the only U.S. state that is home to three Japanese original equipment manufacturer (OEM) automotive companies (Subaru, Honda and Toyota).
The governor will conclude the jobs mission tomorrow, meeting with executives at Toyota Motor Corp. in Toyota City and Toyota suppliers before flying back to Indiana on Saturday.
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State Senate Dems Roll Out Universal Pre-K Proposal

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INDIANAPOLIS—On Thursday, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) laid out a plan to enroll students around the state in early childhood education programs. In announcing the initiative, Sen. Lanane cited a number of far-reaching benefits as reason for fast-tracking a comprehensive, statewide early education program.
“The payoff is clear,” said Sen. Lanane. “High-quality pre-k programs produce students who are more likely to graduate from high school, earn a higher income, own a home and less likely to require remediation or commit crimes. With this initiative, we can put all Hoosier children on the path toward success.”
Sen. Lanane described the program as a vital element for facilitating sustainable, long-term economic development and promoting the development of key workforce skills from an early age. The proposed legislation would allow local school corporations to develop their own programs in conjunction with the Department of Education and would rely on a framework developed by the General Assembly utilizing additional funding. That framework would be in addition to resources already appropriated to fund K-12 education and Sen. Lanane noted he was open to debate on how the state could most efficiently fund the program. The proposal would also lower the mandatory school age to 5 and allow schools to create partnerships with early education providers that meet criteria set forth by the Department of Education.
“It’s time to be proactive; 40 other states have recognized the value of high-quality early learning opportunities,” said Sen. Lanane. “By partnering with the Department of Education and incorporating community input, I believe we can rapidly put in place high-quality pre-k programs that meet unique community needs and maximize the return on investment.” 
A number of academic studies have confirmed the economic and educational benefits of robust early education programs. For example, researchers examining the economic impact of a long-term, high-quality education program concluded that for every public dollar invested, the examined program generated nearly $13 in benefits. These benefits are the result of reduced expenditures on remediation and grade retention, reduced reliance on social services and reduced costs associated with crime and incarceration.
“You’re talking about a tried and true method for improving outcomes for students across the state,” Sen. Lanane noted. “Indiana is in a position to make a fiscally-prudent investment today that will continue to reap dividends for years to come.”
Sen. Lanane and members of the Indiana Senate Democratic Caucus will offer legislation creating the state’s early education program during the 2014 legislative session.
Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 includes the portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/S25 .
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Man Killed in Car/Trash Crash

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The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says a car/train crash at a closed crossing in the Union Mills area overnight claimed the life of a La Porte man. Just before 2 am, deputies responded to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on State Road 39 south of US 6. Police say a Dodge Caravan had been struck by a westbound train, and the driver, who was the lone occupant, was found dead inside the van. La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says 40-year-old Brian Massengill was pronounced dead at the scene.  Police say the crossing had been closed due to construction at the State Road 39 crossing. According to the La Porte County Sheriff's Office, lights and crossing arms were working properly and barricades were in place. Deputies say it appears the driver of the van had driven off the roadway and around a set of barricades that had been across State Road 39. Police say the train crew sounded the horn on the train but the van appeared to be stuck on the rails.
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New Concern Over Proposed Shelter Site

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There's a new wrinkle in a proposal to build a new animal shelter on park foundation land at Sunset Hill Farm County Park near Valparaiso. Opponents say the land would have to be taken out of a federal conservation program, which could mean the loss of some funds, and the old county home across from the current shelter has been suggested as an alternative. The Porter County Parks Foundation board is scheduled to discuss the issue September 19 at the county administration building in downtown Valparaiso.
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Fatal Car/Train Crash Near Union Mills

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The La Porte County Sheriff's Office says a car/train crash in the Union Mills area overnight claimed the life of a La Porte man. Just before 2 am, deputies responded to the Canadian National Railroad crossing on State Road 39 south of US 6. Police say a Dodge Caravan had been struck by a westbound train, and the driver, who was the lone occupant, was found dead inside the van. Police say the crossing had been closed due to construction at the State Road 39 crossing. According to the La Porte County Sheriff's Office, lights and crossing arms were working properly and barricades were in place. Deputies say it appears the driver of the van had driven off the roadway and around a set of barricades that had been across State Road 39 prior to becoming stuck on the tracks. The man's name has not yet been released, pending notification of next of kin. The crash remains under investigation by the La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and the Canadian National Railroad Police.
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Teen Struck and Killed by Train

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A Gary teenager died Wednesday evening after being struck by a train in Glen Park, in the area of 41st and Delaware around 5 pm. The Lake County Coroners office says the 15-year-old boy suffered blunt force trauma; manner of death was pending.
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Region EMS Medical Director Tops in State

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Dr. Stevan Vuckovic shortly after receiving the state EMS medical director of the year award at the Indiana Emergency Response Conference in Indianapolis.
Hear the Region News Team's interview with Stevan Vuckovic here at our website at News Audio on Demand

CROWN POINT | Emergency medical service is the lifeblood of Stevan Vuckovic, D.O.

Besides serving for 18 years as an Emergency Department physician at Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point, Vuckovic has excelled for 15 years as medical director of the hospital’s Emergency Medical Services Training Academy – so much that he recently was honored as the state’s EMS medical director of the year. He received the award during an annual Indiana Fire Chiefs Association-Department of Homeland Security, Indiana Emergency Response Conference in Indianapolis.
ems2
Dr. Stevan Vuckovic, right, is shown with his Indiana EMS medical director of the year award and Franciscan St. Anthony Health-Crown Point EMS director Rob Dowling, outside their office.
My name may be on the award, but it is not about me. It is about all the people behind the scenes who made it possible. It is a testament to how robust our EMS program is and about our relationship with the pre-hospital providers who put it on the line every day to make sure our communities are taken care of.”
The academy trains emergency responders from 26 area communities. Since 2012, it has been under the direction of Rob Dowling, hospital director of emergency medical services; who Vuckovic credits with doing “an unbelievable job and taking the department to a new level.”
He also credits Daniel Netluch, M.D., Dowling’s supervisor and the hospital’s chief of emergency medicine, for providing the tools and leadership for the academy to advance.
He has given us unbelievable leeway to develop pre-hospital protocols – he knows what it takes and realizes it’s also about the people who answer the emergency calls every day.”
Vuckovic, 50, of St. John, who is married and has four children, said he was bitten by the desire to help people in distress while in high school, when he served as a lifeguard and as a volunteer in a hospital emergency department in Illinois.
The epiphany came when I was in the high school band. We were rehearsing for a musical and the band director decided to fire off a blank as a sound effect. He didn’t know the blank contained paper wadding and so wounded his hand trying to shield the shot. While everyone else was running away, I ran toward him and applied first-aid (learned as a lifeguard), until the paramedics came.”
Vuckovic finds the most satisfaction in seeing people, especially younger ones, survive deadly situations.
Things like pulling drowning kids out of a lake, or out of a car wrapped around a tree – and then later watching them walk out of the hospital. Those are most rewarding, as has been my entire career. I want to take care of sick people and also have an extraordinary dedication to the responders in the field, because I used to be one.”
Vuckovic said he emulates the leadership style of his mentor, Bernie Heilicser, D.O., emergency medical services director at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, Ill., who Vuckovic met while a paramedic.
He taught me to be approachable, and the importance of fostering a good working relationship with the hospital staff and the emergency personnel. He is a terrific human being and I strive to follow his example.”
Dowling said no one deserves the honor more than Vuckovic.
It’s my privilege to share an office with someone of his caliber. I appreciate the amount of patience and insight he provides to our program.”
Added Netluch, "I can't think of anyone more deserving of this prestigious award. Dr. Vuckovic got his start in medicine as a paramedic and has always had great passion for EMS. He is always trying to advance our nationally accredited EMS Academy and keep us on the forefront of quality and technology. I am extremely proud and thankful that Dr. Vuckovic is part of our emergency medicine program. Our community is a safer place."

About the award
The Indiana Emergency Response Conference awards program was created in conjunction with the former Indiana Emergency Medical Services Conference Awards Program and the Indiana Fire Chiefs Association Awards Program. The IERC program was established to recognize outstanding achievements and to honor those in Indiana’s public safety organizations whose accomplishments rise above the day-to-day in excellence, training, education and safety. – Source: Indiana Emergency Response Conference website
[Photos/provided]
[News Release/Bill Bero, Franciscan Alliance]
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Woman Dies After Car Goes into Lake

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The Lake County Coroners office says an 83-year-old Valparaiso woman died Wednesday evening after her car went into Lake George in Hobart around four hours earlier. Hobart Police say Shirley Gronlund was rescued from her submerged vehicle, which for unknown reasons reportedly drove into the lake after breaking through a fence behind the Hobart branch of the Lake County Public Library on Front Street. Gronlund was transported to St. Mary Medical Center, where coroners officials say she was pronounced dead shortly after 6:30 pm.  Cause and manner of death were pending.
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Man Hit by Train in Gary

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A man was hospitalized in serious condition after being struck by a train in Gary just after 5pm Wednesday evening. According to witnesses, the man reportedly attempted to walk in front of the train on Broadway, near 41 Avenue, when he was struck. No futher information is available at this time.
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Outrun an Officer at Inaugural Run and Fun Walk

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If you think you can run faster than the law find out for sure at the first ever "Outrun the Police  5K Run and Fun Walk"  Sunday, Sept. 15th,  in Lowell, sponsored by the Lowell Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 186.   Lowell Police Cpl. Robert Hornickel, FOP presidents says " basically there is going to be active duty officers out there running the race and anybody who can beat the fastest cop will get a metal."  Cpl. Hornickel says, "it's basically a fundraiser to financially get the FOP's holiday toy drive started as well as putting money toward an FOP Scholarship every year for a Lowell High School student or two."
He says participants can preregister online anytime with preregistered runners receiving a T-shirt, while supplies last.  The preregistration fee is $25 and $35 day of the race.
Registration is at 7a.m. with the walk begining at 8a.m. at Lowell High School located 2051 E. Commercial Avenue in Lowell. 
Participants may register at:  http://www.asfrunning.com/#!outrun-the-police/cruk
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Experts to Offer Free Child Seat Safety Checks Clinic

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La Porte, IN – Certified child passenger safety technicians are offering a free clinic to help parents determine if child car and/or booster seats are properly installed in their vehicles. This service will be offered at Al’s Supermarket 1340 SR 2W in La Porte on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM. IU Health is conducting this event.
In Indiana, vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of eight and 15. The main goal is to make sure every parent or caregiver has their child’s car seat or booster seat properly installed.
For older children, child passenger seat technicians can check the safety belt fit to ensure it properly protects them in case of a crash. Also, children under 13 should ride in the back seat of a vehicle for enhanced safety.
The evaluation takes approximately 30 minutes to complete. This program is in conjunction with the National Child Passenger Safety Week (September 15-21, 2013).
The Automotive Safety Program has technicians available at more than 120 year-round child safety seat fitting stations across Indiana. Visit childseat.in.gov for a list of locations and a toll-free phone number to speak with experts about the proper installation of child safety seats.
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European Market replaces cancelled OZ Festival

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The Duneland Chamber of Commerce will be holding Chesterton’s European Market this Saturday, September 14 and next Saturday, September 21. The Wizard of Oz Festival, which will not be held this year, has traditionally occupied Chesterton the third weekend in September, though some state-wide publications have listed the event as occurring this coming Saturday, September 14. Chamber staff anticipate more than a few visitors coming to town with the expectation of experiencing the Oz Festival.
“The Duneland Business Initiative Group did an excellent job of getting the word out about the cancellation of the Oz Fest,” says Heather Ennis, the Chamber’s executive director. “DBIG has been an incredible partner to this community over the years, and we fully support their decision to step away from hosting this festival. We elected to host the European Market on Oz Festival weekend, so that Chesterton would still maintain a festive, tourist-attracting atmosphere. We fully anticipate that there will be folks coming to town expecting the Oz Fest, but in hosting the Market, we plan to do everything we can to make their experiences of our town good ones.”
To request information about Chesterton’s European Market, to RSVP for any of the Chamber’s events, or to request information on membership, please call the Chamber office at (219) 926-5513, visit www.dunelandchamber.org, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Duneland Chamber of Commerce is a catalyst organization committed to ensuring that its member communities are vibrant places to live, work and play. Through service to the towns of Beverly Shores, Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Dune Acres and Porter, the Chamber provides a unified voice for robust community-building events, meaningful educational programming and smart economic development in the Duneland area. For more information, please visit www.dunelandchamber.org.
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Woman Rescued After Her Vehicle Goes into Lake George

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A woman was rescued this afternoon after her vehicle went into Lake George. Hobart Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Jeremy Ogden says officers were dispatched to the scene around 3pm and a witness informed them the woman was driving on Cleveland Avenue when she reportedly struck something along her way towards the downtown area of Hobart. Once in the downtown area, the woman continued down Center Street and ultimately drove into the boardwalk area, through a guardrail and into the lake where it slowly submerged.
Sgt. Ogden says a rescue diver arrived within a few minutes after being called, who broke the vehicle's window and pull the woman from the vehicle, who was transported to the hospital.  At last check, her condition is unknown. Sgt. Ogden says the rescue diver, Hobart Police Corp. Mark Grissom, was injured in the process, suffering a laceration to his hand, and no one else is believed to have been in the vehicle with the woman, whose name and condition have not yet been released.
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Man Struck by Two Vehicles in Portage Dies

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Police in Portage are investigating a fatal crash involving a pedestrian. Police report at approximately 10pm Tuesday, officers were dispatched to the 58-hundred block of Central Avenue where they learned a 48 year old man was struck by an eastbound vehicle while crossing the street to retrieve his dog from a neighbors residence. Police say after being struck, the man's body landed in the westbound lane where it was struck again by a westbound vehicle. The man, whose name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin, was airlifted from the scene to an Illinois hospital were he died from his injuries shortly after arriving. Authorities report both drivers involved tested negative for alcohol and an investigation continues.
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Valpo HS Evacuated Due to Odor, No Cause Found

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Students and staff at Valparaiso High School were evacuated this morning. Valparaiso Fire Department Battalion Chief Les Abraham says an alarm activated by a detector went off around 8am, due to an odor by the cafeteria. An inspection of the general area took place but Abraham says nothing was detected by their equipment and the incident has been turned over to the school's maintenance department. Alarms at the the school were reset and held, but no cause could be ascertained.
Abraham says once the alarms were reactivated and the “all-clear” was given, students and staff were able to return to the building.
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MC Man Gets 20 years for Child Molestation

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A Michigan City man who pleaded guilty to felony child molestation was sentenced to 20 years in prison on September 5th, according to an announcement made today by the LaPorte County Prosecutor's Office. The Prosecutor's Office reports Kenneth Keller admitted to the molestation charge, which took place on or about March 3rd of this year, in Michigan City, with a child under the age of 14. Keller, who received the maximum sentence, will be be able to serve the last three-years of his sentence on probation.
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