Preparedness Guide Developed for Child Care Providers

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Protecting Hoosier families and their children has taken another step forward with the release of a new comprehensive guide for disaster preparedness for child care providers.
“There are a few states that have a similar guide, but none that we found contain the amount of detail and collaboration from outside resources,” said Nancy Morris, Emergency Preparedness Planner, Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS). “Indiana will also be the first to design a training program that helps providers really understand what they should have in their emergency plans.”
Currently, child care providers are only required to have a plan in case of fire or severe weather situations. However a need was expressed for a guide to help child care providers plan for all hazards.
The guide was developed in partnership among the IDHS, Indiana School of Medicine – Emergency Medical Services for Children, Riley Children’s Hospital, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Education, Indiana State Department of Health – Public Health Preparedness and Emergency Response, the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral and the Indiana Family Social Services Administration.
“The guide has been well received by the child care community,” Morris said. “The plan provides valuable resources to the people who take care of one of Indiana’s most precious assets.”
In addition to the guide, a training program is being developed that will help child care providers develop plans that are tailored to their specific situations and ways to practice the plans that are developed.
The training program is the second phase of the project. The Bureau of Child Care is incorporating it with the Path to Quality program, a nationally recognized program. The Child Care Preparedness Guide can be found on either or
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Read more: Preparedness Guide Developed for Child Care Providers


Cedar Lake Green Infrastructure Corridor Plan Meeting 7/15

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Cedar Lake
On Monday July 15th at 6:00pm, the Town of Cedar Lake will be hosting a public work session to present the Cedar Lake Green Infrastructure Corridor Plan. The plan includes a proposed green infrastructure corridor along Founder’s Creek and Cedar Creek and provides for several sustainable best management practices for consideration for future improvements within the corridor. The plan was developed after receiving feedback from interested stakeholders during the initial public work session which was held on January 30th.
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The goal of the project is to develop a plan that encourages conservation and sustainable best management practices within vital natural areas along Cedar Creek and Founders Creek to plan a connection from Lemon Lake County Park south to Cedar Lake and ending at Lake Dalecarlia. The plan is funded through a grant by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelly Foundation and was developed through a partnership with the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission.


Read more: Cedar Lake Green Infrastructure Corridor Plan Meeting 7/15


Indiana Woman Brings Loaded Gun to Daley Center

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Ana Claudia Gomez
(Photos Courtesy of the Cook County Sheriff's Office)
A 38 year old Indiana woman has been charged with unlawful use of a weapon after sheriff's discovered a semi-automatic 9mm handgun in her purse during a security screening at the Daley Center in Chicago. The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports Ana Gomez was in Chicago on Friday to help her father with issues regarding an eviction. Sheriff Thomas Dart announced today (Monday) that the gun was loaded with seven bullets, three of which were hollow-point. Gomez, who is current of on bail after posting bond has a license to carry in Indiana, and reportedly told officers she forgot the loaded gun was in her purse.
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Read more: Indiana Woman Brings Loaded Gun to Daley Center


Alleged Road Rage Incident Leaves Two Woman Injured

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portage pd
Portage Police say an alleged road rage incident led to an altercation between two women Thursday at the intersection of Central Avenue and Willowcreek Road. Police says while stopped at the light at the intersection, a 39 year old Portage woman, who was reported to be driving erratically, started yelling at another woman parked next to her at the light, and then reportedly sprayed a can of mace at her. The woman, who was not injured because her window was up, then reportedly got out of her vehicle to allegedly take a photo of the suspects license plate, and that is when police say the 39 year old got out of her vehicle, armed with a knife, and attacked the victim. Authorities say the 39 year old woman suffered a laceration to her arm and was hospitalized until she was charged with felony battery Sunday. The victim, who was also hospitalized reportedly needed around 20 stitches due to cuts to her arm, face, and leg.
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Read more: Alleged Road Rage Incident Leaves Two Woman Injured


Indiana Receives 4 Year Grant for WISEWOMAN Program

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indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—The Indiana State Department of Health announced it has received a four-year health screening-related grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The grant was awarded to the Division of Chronic Disease Prevention and will be used to implement the Well-Integrated Screening for Evaluation for Women across the Nation (WISEWOMAN) Program throughout Indiana.
The WISEWOMAN Program provides low-income, under-insured or uninsured women with standard cardiovascular disease (CVD) screening services including blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. In order to be eligible for the WISEWOMAN Program, women must be enrolled in the existing Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program. Women found to be at risk during the WISEWOMAN screening process are referred to lifestyle programs that target poor nutrition and physical inactivity, such as healthy cooking classes, smoking cessation programs, walking and exercise clubs.
“This grant will allow the Indiana State Department of Health to directly address cardiovascular disease in women,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “Cardiovascular disease is a serious issue and the leading cause of death in our state.”
The Indiana Breast and Cervical Cancer Program targets women from ages 40 to 64 who are at 200 percent of the federal poverty level or below. In Indiana, 14.1 percent of the population had an income below the poverty level the past year, with 7.9 percent of this population being women.
According to the Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records statistics, in 2010, the mortality rate from heart disease, including all forms of CVD, was 190.8 deaths per 100,000 (this does not include stroke, essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease, atherosclerosis and vessel disease). This accounts for 13,374 Indiana residents who died of heart disease, making it the leading cause of death overall.
Heart disease and stroke are the first and fourth causes of death among women in the U.S., and almost twice as many women die of heart disease, stroke and other CVDs as from all forms of cancer combined, including breast cancer. Heart disease may be preventable by incorporating healthy eating, exercise and stress reduction habits into a daily routine; however, the prevalence of the risk factors continues to remain high in Indiana.
Hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, smoking, exposure to second-hand smoke, obesity and sedentary life-style contribute to cardiovascular disease and other chronic diseases.
According to the 2011 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, Indiana’s prevalence rates for diabetes (10.2 percent), overweight (34.8 percent), obesity (30.8 percent), smoking (25.6 percent), high blood pressure (32.8 percent) and high cholesterol (38.9 percent) were higher than U.S. rates. Prevalence rates for pre-diabetes (6.6 percent) did not have a comparable value for the entire U.S.
The Indiana State Department of Health has set several agency priorities to improve the health of Indiana residents including, reducing obesity rates and adult smoking rates. The WISEWOMAN Program will address these priorities by screening women for CVD and providing resources to reduce risk factors.
The WISEWOMAN Program will be implemented later this year as a pilot in Northeast Indiana in partnership with United Health Services of St. Joseph County and in Eastern Indiana in partnership with Open Door Health Services. The Indiana State Department of Health aims to screen 1,000 women through the two pilot programs in the first year.
For more information, visit or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at
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Read more: Indiana Receives 4 Year Grant for WISEWOMAN Program


Kentland Man Charged with Armed Robbery in Newton Co

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Newton County Sheriff Dept
An armed robbery incident early Sunday morning in Newton County remains under investigation. The Newton County Sheriff's Office reports they received the call at 12:10am, at Casey's General Store, in the one-hundred block of East Seymour Street, in Kentland. Authorities report a lone black male entered the store, displayed a handgun, and demanded money before fleeing the store to the east. The Sheriff's office says a short time later, a man matching the suspect's description was taken into custody during a traffic stop near the Kentland Police Department. Alfonzo Hicks, of Kentland, has been charged with felony armed robbery.
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Read more: Kentland Man Charged with Armed Robbery in Newton Co


LaPorte County Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder

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LapPorte County Sheriff logo - this one
An as of yet unidentified Michigan man was shot and killed this morning at a home in LaPorte County's Hudson Township. The LaPorte County Sheriff's Office reports dispatch received a call at approximately 9:15 this morning from a homeowner stating his home, in the 67-hundred East block of County Road One-thousand North, had been burglarized, and that he had shot the intruder. Upon arrival, authorities say they found the intruder, from Three Oaks Township, dead due to a single gunshot wound to the chest. Investigators report the deceased entered the home through a rear window he had shattered, which awoke the sleeping homeowner. The homeowner, armed with a pistol, got into a physical altercation with the intruder, who was armed with a hatchet, until the homeowner shot him, and then called 9-1-1. The Sheriff's Office reports the deceased did not know the homeowner, and an investigation continues....

Read more: LaPorte County Homeowner Shoots and Kills Intruder


Friday Fire in Valpo Deemed Accidental, Family Displaced

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Fire officials say one family was displaced by a fire Friday evening in Valparaiso, at the corner of Jefferson and Lafayette. Valparaiso Assistant Fire Chief Dan Lamb says they received the call at 5:09pm, and were on-scene until about 1am Saturday morning. Lamb says they believe the fire, which has been deemed accidental, started in the wall of the 3rd floor of the building, and was caused due by a heat-gun being used on the outside of the building to strip paint off the wall.
Assistant Chief Lamb says there was a lot of water damage throughout the Victorian-era structure that dates back to the late 18-hundreds, and which houses the “Needle and Thread” store on the first floor, and apartments on the 2nd and 3rd. No injuries were reported.
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Read more: Friday Fire in Valpo Deemed Accidental, Family Displaced


Investigation Continues into Holiday Weekend Homicides

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Police in Gary are investigating three fatal shootings that occurred over three days during the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Corp. Gabrielle King says police were called out to the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street at 6:30 Friday morning for a man down, and arrived to find Bryan Cooke, of Gary, unresponsive in the street. Corp. King say a man who lives in the area found the man 46 year old and called police.
Corp.King says on Friday night at 9:50pm, 19 year old Antoine Taylor was traveling with a friend east on 5th Avenue, when he noticed two males walking in the 500 block of Delaware Street and asked his friend to stop so he could talk with them. A short time later, the friend in the vehicle reported he thought he heard gunshots, then saw Taylor running. Corp King says the friend got Taylor back in the vehicle, who then drove him to the hospital, and Taylor died due to his injuries on Saturday.
King says a 57-year-old man suffered multiple gunshot wounds in the 51-hundred block of Georgia Street, in Glen Park, around 2:15 Sunday morning. The Lake County Coroner's Office has identified the deceased as Andrew Wilkins, of Gary, who died due to multiple gunshot wounds to the head and body. Anyone with information regarding any of these incidents is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Read more: Investigation Continues into Holiday Weekend Homicides


Extra Valpo Patrols Result in Seven Arrests

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Over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Valparaiso Police worked a number of extra drunk driving patrols that resulted in seven arrests – one of them by officers on bikes. Police say Saturday the department's bicycle patrol observed erratic driving and conducted a traffic stop at Brown and Franklin Streets.
Four arrests occurred throughout the morning and evening hours of July 5th, at Danvers Parkway/State Road 2; Calumet Avenue/ McCord Road; Brown and Campbell Streets, and Chicago and Campbell Streets. Two other arrests occurred on July 7th on US 30 and at Chicago and Sturdy Road.
Extra patrols, funded by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and the Porter County Driving Task Force ,were conducted from July 4th through July 7th.

Read more: Extra Valpo Patrols Result in Seven Arrests


Michigan City Announces Code Sweep

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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer says the second code enforcement sweep of the year will be conducted this week – a two day sweep Wednesday [ July 10th ] and Thursday [ July 11th ] in an area roughly bound by Highway 12 on the north, Country Line Road on the west, Earl Road on the south, and Wabash Street on the east. Personnel from various city departments will be participating, and residents are urged to fix any possible violations before the sweep gets to your area.  The Michigan City Fire Department will also be available city-wide to assist any elderly or disabled persons with installing or checking of their smoke detectors.  For information, call the Michigan City Fire Department at: 219-873-1440.

Read more: Michigan City Announces Code Sweep


Transition Begins for Strongbow Inn

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The transition gets underway today for new ownership of a Region restaurant tradition. Last week the sale of Strongbow Inn in Valparaiso was announced, as Hobart-based Luke Company is purchasing the restaurant and banquet facility from owners Russ and Nancy Adams.  "Nobody will notice a thing different," Russ Adams said.  "The staff is continuing," he told us today, "we're hanging on to the wonderful recipes, and these guys will do an excellent job."  Adams says his grandmother Bess Thrun opened Strongbow Turkey Inn in 1940, with a name based in Region history, a name that will continue on.
Strongbow Turkey Farm was started in the 1930’s by Dr. Walter and Bess Thrun (Russ Adams’ grandparents) and named for the Pottawatomie Indian chief who lived on the land with his tribe in the 1800’s. In 1940  Bess Thrun opened the Strongbow Turkey Inn on US Hwy 30 in Valparaiso with 28 seats. Known for the turkey the Thruns raised on the farm across the highway the first menu included hot and cold turkey and the now-famous Strongbow Turkey Pie. Over the years Strongbow has grown to not only a sizeable restaurant but also includes banquet facilities that accommodate up to 500 people. Strongbow currently employs 130 people.  Adams said that he is proud of what Strongbow has meant to his family – with his mother Chuggie and father Chuck running the business from 1951-1993 when Russ and Nancy took over. “We know that Strongbows helped put Valpo on the map,” he said.   The restaurant, now in its 73rd year, is along US 30 just west of State Road 49.
The Luke Company is a family owned and operated company based in Hobart, Indiana that was founded in 1967 by Ralph Luke.  It is owned by Tom Collins Sr., Tom Collins Jr., and Ryan Richardson and has grown to include 25 C-Stores, the $5 Carwash and County Line Orchard.  The Luke organization currently employs approximately 400 associates.

Read more: Transition Begins for Strongbow Inn


Coast Gd Rescues, Assists 24 Over the 4th

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Coast Guard rescue crews throughout the Great Lakes rescued or assisted 24 people from various boating incidents between late Wednesday night and early Friday morning, including a 39-foot cabin cruiser with four adults and two children aboard that ran aground in Lake Calumet Harbor. There were no reported injuries, pollution or damage to the vessel, but the boat was stranded.

Read more: Coast Gd Rescues, Assists 24 Over the 4th


Merrillville FD Considers Green Roof

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The idea of the green roof continues to grow. In Lake Station the city's new municipal building that opened in the Fall of 2011 features a living roof that absorbs and filters rainwater and helps insulate the building. In nearby Merrillville, the fire department is now looking at the possibility of planting a green roof at Fire Station Number One on West 73rd Avenue to provide a place where firefighters could grow vegetables for themselves. It would also reduce stormwater runoff, and give crews a place to stay active by gardening when not responding to any calls for service.

Read more: Merrillville FD Considers Green Roof


Cops Cycling for Survivors Ride 2013

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riding to remember
Today [Monday, July 8, 2013] marks the start of the 11th annual Cops Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride. A departure ceremony was scheduled this morning [ 8:30 a.m. EDT ] at the Law Enforcement/Firefighter Memorial, adjacent to the State Capitol, in downtown Indianapolis. Fifty-one cyclists are taking part in a thirteen-day journey that will cover nearly one-thousand miles around the perimeter of Indiana, including northwest Indiana this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Funds raised are used to aid surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.
The group says this year the cyclists are recognizing the sacrifices of Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux [mew] who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run around the perimeter of the Lake County Jail, and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting an unruly prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
On August 22, 2006, retired Lake County Police Chief Gary Martin of Merrillville and Indiana State Police Lt. Gary Dudley of Indianapolis were killed during the ride when a large box truck struck the rear of the support truck, pushing the support truck into the cyclists.
The ride is scheduled to conclude on the afternoon of Saturday, July 20, 2013, at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Link for route:

Read more: Cops Cycling for Survivors Ride 2013


Suspected Heroin in NWI Traffic stop

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[Photo/Indiana State Police]
Indiana State Police say a weekend traffic stop in Northwest Indiana resulted in the seizure of more than five pounds of suspected heroin with an estimated street value of approximately 150-thousand dollars . A Senior Trooper from the Lowell Post made a traffic stop on a car on southbound I-65 around 8 am Sunday near the Remington exit at the 205 mile marker in southern Jasper County for allegedly going 97 miles per hour in a 70 mile an hour zone. Troopers say the driver, a 26-year-old Miami, Florida, man was taken to jail on felony drug charges and a speeding infraction.

Read more: Suspected Heroin in NWI Traffic stop



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Silver Alert Cancelled

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July 8, 2013

Indiana Silver Alert #008-2013 issued on July 8, 2013 for Timothy F. Fry has been cancelled as of 8:00 am today EST. This cancellation was requested by the Jeffersonville Police Department. Police say Fry has been located.

Read more: Silver Alert Cancelled


ATV Crash Results in Injury

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Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating an ATV crash in Clinton County that resulted in an arm amputation. Officials say a 38-year-old man was operating a side by side off road vehicle on private property when he apparently accelerated during an attempt to jump a small dip on the property and lost control, with the vehicle overturning, and his arm becoming caught between the frame and the ground. Authorities say the ATV was also occupied by two children, ages 7 and 14, and a 59-year-old man, who were all uninjured.
Conservation officers say evidence at the scene indicates that driver lost his grip on the frame handle.

Read more: ATV Crash Results in Injury


South Split Project to Begin

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Region residents with plans to go to Indianapolis next month – parts of Interstate 65 and 70 will be closed starting in August for Operation South Split. INDOT says the work will close I-65 and I-70 between the north and south splits on the east side of downtown Indianapolis for up to 90 days, or three months, to rebuild and lower pavement below seven bridges. INDOT says it's become necessary to increase bridge clearances because of repeated accidents involving bridge strikes, posing a safety concern.  State officials say more than 400 collisions have been recorded at South Split bridges over I-65/I-70 since 1999 and the frequency of vehicle bridge strikes has increased in recent years.
web link for detour info: 


Read more: South Split Project to Begin


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Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team
Region News Team


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