Congressman Pete Visclosky Speaks in Valparaiso

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Congressman Pete Visclosky Speaks in Valparaiso
Congressman Pete Visclosky delivers keynote speech at Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce Luncheon Thursday afternoon

1st District Congressman Pete Visclosky spoke on a variety of topics during the keynote speech Thursday afternoon at a luncheon at Strongbow Inn, hosted by the Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.
Near the start of his address, Congressman Visclosky reminded an attentive audience of chamber members that we are a nation at war and that there are over 60,000 active military forces in Afghanistan and that the forces are going to be there for some time.
Visclosky also lauded Rex Richards, chamber president and his staff for taking honors the second time as being the finest chamber in the state.
The congressman also spent some time discussing the healthcare bill.  While not in favor of the governor's deciscion to not participate in the Medicare program, Visclosky says a portion of the bill is successful in "any number of areas."  Those areas he says include, "preventative care, making sure children with disabilities are not excluded from the system, and removing lifetime caps on insurance policies."  Visclosky adds that instead of saying, "no,no,no" there should be "serious discussion in Congress about how we can make it (the plan) better."
Congressman Visclosky also talked about the importance of economic growth especially since the economy has been in a very serious recession.  During a question and answer session, chamber president Richards asked whether the South Shore train would ever make it to Valparaiso, and whether there were federal funds available to make that happen.  The congressman says "the short answer to Rex's question is I believe're going to have a South Shore Stop in Valparaiso."  But Visclosky added that because the "numbers work better" as far as federal funding is concerned, a southern leg to Lake County would be first.
You can hear Congressman Pete Visclosky's Thursday afternoon keynote speech in its entirety online at:
(photo courtesy of Jay Stevens)
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Read more: Congressman Pete Visclosky Speaks in Valparaiso


Last Allegiant Flight at Gary/Chicago Airport Saturday

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The last Allegiant flight to Florida out of Gary/Chicago International Airport is scheduled for Saturday, and after that the airport will be without a passenger carrier. Airport Marketing and Communications Liaison James Ward previously stated Allegiant Air reported a lack of demand led to its decision to end service.
Meanwhile the airport's 166-million dollar runway expansion, extending the seven-thousand foot main runway by 19-hundred feet, is scheduled for completion in December, which gets the airport ahead of a 2015 Federal Aviation Administration's mandate that all airports have at least one-thousand feet of safety area for planes. Members of the Gary/Chicago Airport Authority and members of the airport's Public-Private Partnership Committee are scheduled to hold a pre-proposal meeting tomorrow morning at 10am about the airports request of proposals for a public-private investment to invest in the airport and the the surrounding area.
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Read more: Last Allegiant Flight at Gary/Chicago Airport Saturday


NWIBRT Raises Over $1000 for the Food Bank of NWI

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THURSDAY AUGUST 8, 2013 – CROWN POINT, IN – The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) held its annual Golf Outing at White Hawk Country Club in Crown Point, IN. The event united businesses on the golf course to network amongst NWI’s top professionals as well as raise money for a great cause.
The annual meet-and-greet golfing event gives NWIBRT the opportunity to raise money and awareness for non-profit organizations. This year the largest golf outing in the region drew over 300 golfers from a variety of Indiana’s premier companies and raised over one thousand dollars for the Food Bank of NWI.
“It was a tremendous day of networking NWI’s business scene while helping out a great cause like the Food Bank,” said Joe Coar of the Franciscan Alliance and President of NWIBRT. The event successfully raised over a thousand dollars for the Northwest Indiana Food Bank. Along with this heartfelt contribution, the grand prize of a truck donation to the Food Bank of NWI was graciously given in the name of a member from Manta Industries.
Information for the 2014 outing is to be announced, by more information can be found at
The Northwest Indiana Business Roundtable (NWIBRT) is an independent, non-profit council of local firms committed to the improvement of construction and maintenance projects in Northwest Indiana. Its purpose is to promote safety, quality and cost-effectiveness by all parties associated with the local area construction and maintenance industry.
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Read more: NWIBRT Raises Over $1000 for the Food Bank of NWI


DNR Urge Caution When Using Off-Road Vehicles

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Indiana Conservation Police
Indiana Conservation Officers want to remind riders of off-road vehicles that those machines are prone to rollovers, this after a seven year old boy was severely injured Wednesday evening, in Howard County, as a passenger on an off-road vehicle that overturned. Authorities report Jaxin Phelps, of Russiaville, became pinned underneath the vehicle, and was airlifted to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, where he underwent surgery to repair injuries to his lower left leg. On Sunday, Conservation Officers reported an adult female and two small children, including a one year boy from Harvey, Illinois, were killed after an off-road vehicle crash in Clay County.
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7 Faculty Cut, 12 Take Retirement at Purdue Calumet

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Purdue Calumet
The chancellor of Purdue Calumet said today seven faculty positions are being cut in light of a budget shortfall. Twelve other faculty members have reportedly taken a retirement package offered this summer in response to reduced enrollment at the Hammond campus. Earlier this year Purdue Calumet announced their Academic Learning Center would no longer be offering classes beginning with the Fall 2013 semester.
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Read more: 7 Faculty Cut, 12 Take Retirement at Purdue Calumet


Powerball Contributions Go To Good Causes in Indiana

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hoosier lottery
INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 8, 2013) -  After twelve successive drawings without a jackpot winner, Powerball was hit on the 13th draw of the run for $448 million in the states of New Jersey and Minnesota. After final sales were calculated, the estimated $425 million drawing ended up coming in at $448 million.
Three winning tickets matched all six numbers in the August 7 drawing.  The lucky winners will be laying claim to, and splitting, the third biggest Powerball jackpot in the history of the game.
The $448 million winning numbers are: 5-25-30-58-59 PB: 32.
Even though the jackpot went to other states, Hoosiers will want to check their tickets carefully because Powerball players in Indiana won approximately $818,000 in prizes from $4 to $10,000 on 84,470 winning tickets in last night's drawing. Throughout the course of the 13-draw run, Hoosiers won $3.72 million in Powerball prizes from $4 to $10,000 on approximately 290,000 prize-winning tickets.  
Cash in winners' pockets is only one of the ways a near-record Powerball run benefits the Hoosier state.  
"Powerball fever is good for Indiana businesses. The buzz and excitement of huge jackpots drive foot traffic and cash sales at Hoosier Lottery retailers," said Connie Laverty O'Connor CEO of Business Operations for the Hoosier Lottery.  "This is a revenue boost for approximately 4,000 Hoosier retailers around the state, many of whom are small businesses."   
Hoosier Lottery retailers sold $5.9 million in Powerball sales in the four days leading up to Wednesday night's $448 million drawing, a jackpot level which saw sales about five times as high as a typical $40 million starting jackpot. In the course of the 13-draw run, since June 23, players in Indiana spent $19.9 million on a shot at the jackpot. 
"With sky-high jackpots like this, everybody wins. Increased sales mean increased profits to good causes in Indiana," said Laverty O'Connor.
Like all Hoosier Lottery sales, profits from the sale of Powerball in Indiana stay in Indiana where they are allocated to support Hoosier firefighters', police and teachers pension funds and to reduce Hoosiers' vehicle excise tax, which saves Hoosiers about 50 percent on their license plate costs annually.
The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play.  Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.  
ABOUT THE HOOSIER LOTTERY: Hoosier Lottery distributions benefit every county throughout Indiana. 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 Lottery income is contributed to the State and helps reduce excise taxes by 50 percent for every Hoosier vehicle owner.
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Read more: Powerball Contributions Go To Good Causes in Indiana


Lugar Among Recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom

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President Obama today named the recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and one of 16 names listed is former Indiana US Senator Richard Lugar. Lugar will receive the nation's highest civilian honor for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons. Two other recipients have ties to Chicago, the man known as Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, and talk-show queen and media mogul Oprah Winfrey.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the executive order signed by then President John F. Kennedy, establishing the award, and since then more than 500 exceptional individuals have received it.
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Read more: Lugar Among Recipients of Presidential Medal of Freedom


LaPorte Woman Scammed Out of Almost $2,000

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LaPorte PD
Authorities are once again advising citizens to never give out personal or banking information over the phone, internet, and to never send money to anyone for a non-service, or non-purchase, unless you've initiated it, after a LaPorte woman was recently scammed out of almost two-thousand dollars. LaPorte Police report the victim told them that in June she met a man on the "Zoosk" dating website who identified himself as "John Douglas Frank" (suspect). Since that time the two remained in contact through email and instant messaging.

In early July the suspect advised the victim he was moving to South Africa for a job and asked the victim to send money to a friend of his and she would be reimbursed. Shortly thereafter the victim sent two Paypal cards and three Western Union money orders totaling $1,985 to a "Darren Foster" in Florida.

Over the past few weeks four packages of brand new clothing, with a value of nearly $900 arrived at the victim's home, sent from online shopping sites. "Douglas" then requested that the victim forward the packages to him in South Africa.

The victim then received a phone call from someone claiming to be from a Florida agency advising her there was a warrant out for her arrest. The victim became concerned that the clothing sent to her was stolen and that her identity had also been stolen, as she provided the suspect with her social security number so he could allegedly refund her money.

The victim was advised the activity was an internet scam and that most likely the clothing sent to her had been purchased with stolen credit cards by the suspects.

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Read more: LaPorte Woman Scammed Out of Almost $2,000


19 Year old LaPorte Man Charged with Dealing Heroin

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Edgar Camarillo
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Office)
Bond was set at 100-thousand dollars for a 19 year old LaPorte man charged with dealing heroin. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports Edgar Camarillo was already in jail on warrants for failure to appear and felony theft, when on Wednesday, investigators from the LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit charged him with dealing a controlled substance, as a result of an investigation into his involvement in the distribution of heroin.
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Read more: 19 Year old LaPorte Man Charged with Dealing Heroin


Margaret Pellegrini, 'Oz' Munchkin, Dies at 89

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pellegrini WinCE
One of the last few surviving actors to portray Munchkin characters in the classic 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” has died. Margaret Pellegrini, the Flowerpot Munchkin, had been a regular at the Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton, and was in the Region just last year for the Oz Fest. A spokesman told media outlets that she died Wednesday after suffering a stroke at her home outside Phoenix. Pellegrini was 89.

Read more: Margaret Pellegrini, 'Oz' Munchkin, Dies at 89


Woman Finds $4K in Merrillville Parking Lot

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An elderly Crown Point woman has her four-thousand dollars back... thanks to a young woman who came across the money in a parking lot off US 30 and took it to the Merrillville Police Department. The owner of the cash told police she wanted to give a reward to the person who found it. Police also tell today's Times that the woman who found the money is pregnant and indicated that she could use the money but turning it in was the “right thing to do”.


Read more: Woman Finds $4K in Merrillville Parking Lot


Gaskell Named Exec VP of Valpo Chamber

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Julie Gaskell WinCE

Valpo Chamber President Rex Richards announces that Julie Gaskell has been promoted to the position of Executive Vice President. Gaskell, who joined the Valpo Chamber in 1998 as a part-time employee, performs numerous administrative duties for both the Valpo Chamber and Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation.
"Gaskell has been an outstanding employee who has been involved in most all of the programing and operational matters of the Chamber," says Richards. "She plays a very pivotal role in the broad range of programs and functions of the entire organization. Gaskell previously served as Vice President of Operations.
"Julie has always placed the mission of the organization paramount in all that she does for the Chamber and has helped enormously in building a culture of excellence for the Valpo Chamber," adds Richards.  Gaskell is a graduate of Defiance High School and attended Defiance College, Defiance, Ohio. She moved to Valparaiso in 1993. She and her husband Kurt live in Valparaiso and have two sons.

Read more: Gaskell Named Exec VP of Valpo Chamber


Checkpts Planned for Lake Station, Lowell

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The Lake County Traffic Safety Partnership has announced they 'll be conducting a Sobriety Check Point in the Lake Station and Lowell area sometime this weekend. Drivers will need to show their license and registration to the officers and will be delayed for about two minutes unless there are signs of impairment.

Read more: Checkpts Planned for Lake Station, Lowell


Indiana Homeless Count Shows Drop

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Newly-released statewide findings from the 2013 Point-in-Time Homeless Count show nearly 61-hundred individuals were without a home January 30th, an overall decrease of three-percent from last year. However, the number of homeless veterans rose by 12-percent to include 743 adults. Conducted every January, the count is a snap shot of homelessness in the state on a particular night.
Held on January 30, 2013, the Point-in-Time Homeless Count is a requirement by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for every community receiving federal funds for programs to aid the homeless. The count must be conducted every two years during the last two weeks of January. In Indiana, IHCDA, the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention and Prevention (CHIP), and the South Bend Continuum of Care conducts counts covering all 92 counties in Indiana on a yearly basis.
"The Point-in-Time Count is essential in assessing homelessness in our state," said Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann, who chairs the IHCDA Board. "While not directly affecting the amount of federal funding allocated to the state, we can utilize the information to further develop our collective statewide efforts to end homelessness in Indiana."
Representing a three percent decrease from last year, 6,064 individuals were without a home on January 30th. The individuals made up 4,375 households which is a four percent increase from 2012, but an overall decrease of three percent from 2011.
Demonstrating the largest decrease was the total number of households with dependent children falling 23% to 739. Conversely, there was a ten percent increase in the number of households without dependents. IHCDA cites the increase may be due to more couples living together who are homeless who do not have children or their children are currently not living with them, as a contributor for the bigger number.
Despite the increased partnership with the Veterans Administration and the ability to access rental subsidy programs like the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing voucher program, the number of homeless veterans increased by 12% to include 743 adults.
However, additional assistance for Indiana’s Veterans is on the way. On Thursday, July 11th Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Eric K. Shinseki announced the award of nearly $300 million in grants to 319 community agencies nationally that will help approximately 120,000 homeless and at-risk veterans and their families. The federal funds were awarded to private nonprofit organizations and consumer cooperatives that provide services to very low-income veteran families living in or transitioning to permanent housing.
In Indiana, a record five awards totaling $3,179,218 were granted to four Indiana non-profits: Volunteers of America (who received two awards), Community Action of Northeast Indiana, Lafayette Transitional Housing Center, and InteCare, Inc. The funds are projected to impact 58 unique counties and 958 households throughout the state.
Even with these improvements, IHCDA and statewide partners remain focused on working together to systematically preventing and ending homelessness for those most vulnerable in our communities. It will not be accomplished quickly, but by identifying an individual's or family's barriers to self-sufficiency and targeting the most appropriate housing solution, the hope is to minimize the number of people that enter the homelessness delivery system and the duration of time they spend in it.
The homeless population by category includes: homeless with children, homeless without children, and subpopulations including chronically homeless, unaccompanied youth, veterans, domestic violence victims, persons with severe mentally illness, chronic substance abuse, and/or persons living with AIDS.
Totals for the 2013 PIT Count include:
6,064 individuals comprising 4,375 households were homeless during the last week in January 2013.
Of the 6,064 individuals found and identified as experiencing homelessness, 688 were unsheltered and found on the street and 5,396 were staying in emergency shelters, safe havens or in temporary transitional housing programs.
3,602 households were persons without dependent children.
1,543 were under the age of 18 years old.
1,116 of the adults counted were women fleeing from domestic violence.
743 of the adults counted were veterans.
739 households were with dependent children.
503 identified themselves as being characterized as "chronically homeless."
16% of the adults counted identified themselves as suffering from a chronic addiction.
13% of the adults counted identified themselves as having a severe mental illness.
Source: Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority...

Read more: Indiana Homeless Count Shows Drop


Radio One Bunco Night Debuts at Lake Co Fair

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20130807 202012 WinCE
Brand new at the Lake County Fair-- Bunco Night -- hosted by Radio One Communications/107.1 The Z at the Radio One Communications Showcase tent last night.
It's part of a week full of happenings at the Radio One Communications Showcase tent. 
Coming up this weekend... Bags will be flying at The Radio One Communications Bags Tournament this Saturday at the Lake County Fair. Teams from across the Region will be competing in doubles action for a prize package worth one-thousand dollars and bragging rights as Lake County Fair Champions.
The 35-dollar entry fee for the 64-team, double-elimination tournament benefits the American Cancer Society. The action will start at 4pm this Saturday at the Radio One Communications Showcase Tent. Space is still available! Those interested are urged to sign up today at or

Read more: Radio One Bunco Night Debuts at Lake Co Fair


Three Jackpot Tickets for Powerball

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Three jackpot winning tickets were sold for Wednesday's Powerball drawing. The amount had gone up to an estimated 448 million by the time the numbers were drawn. One was sold in Minnesota, the other two in New Jersey.


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New Plan for Brickie Bowl

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It was unanimous – the Hobart City Council voted last night in favor of the city taking possession of iconic Brickie Bowl. In exchange, the city's school district will obtain city-owned property adjacent to Joan Martin behind Fire Station One on 10th Street. The transfer has been talked about for a long time, as Hobart considers using the former high school football stadium for concerts, fundraisers and sporting events. The final home game for the Hobart High School football team at Brickie Bowl was in October of 2008.
With its concrete seats, bowl shape, and railroad tracks along the southern edge, Brickie Bowl was built as a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project in the late 1930s.

Read more: New Plan for Brickie Bowl


Possible Cuts Discussed at PUC

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A couple weeks ago, Purdue University Calumet reported they were offering a retirement incentive for qualified faculty through August 11, this Sunday, in response to reduced enrollment in general education and other courses, with an emphasis in targeted academic areas in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences; Department of Mathematics, Computer Science and Statistics; Department of Chemistry and Physics; and Department of Construction Science and Organizational Leadership.   Published reports say the chancellor of Purdue Calumet is scheduled to address staff at the Hammond campus this morning to discuss budget issues and possible job cuts. Earlier this year the regional campus announced they were facing a four-million dollar deficit and closed their Academic Learning Center in Merrillville.


Read more: Possible Cuts Discussed at PUC


Second Gary Bus Forum to be Held on Friday

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The Gary Community School Corporation held a bus transportation forum on Tuesday, with another planned for this Friday at 6pm, at West Side Leadership Academy, in the nine-hundred block of Gerry Street. Communication Specialist Charmella Greer says the purpose of these forums is too get out in front of any questions parents may have about student transportation. Greer says Tuesday's forum was well attended, but expects more parents to attend as the school year approaches.
Greer says more information is available at regarding bus transportation, if parents cannot attend either the forums, or the meet-and-greet events to kick off the school year. To hear more of our interview with Greer on this and other topics, click News Audio On Demand at
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Read more: Second Gary Bus Forum to be Held on Friday


Missing LaPorte Man Died Due to Blunt Force Trauma

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Results of an autopsy on the body of a missing LaPorte man, found in a grassy ditch just south of I-94 in Porter County Tuesday afternoon, indicate blunt force trauma to the body was the cause of death. The body of 50 year old Ricky Kimble was discovered just after 2pm Tuesday, about a mile west of the Portage exit. Kimble was last seen August 3rd and had been reported missing by family members on August 5th. Kimble, a 6’ 1”, 258 pounds black male, with a shaved head, was wearing brown shorts, a white tank top, tan boots, and carrying a black backpack. Anyone who may have seen Kimble walking on I-80/94 during Saturday evening, August 3rd until Tuesday morning, August 6th, is asked to contact either Indiana State Police Detective Brian Kubiak at (219) 696-6242 or the LaPorte County Sheriff's Detective Ron Heeg at (219) 326-7700.
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Read more: Missing LaPorte Man Died Due to Blunt Force Trauma


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