Groundbreaking for Merrillville Stormwater Center

Share this post

A ceremonial groundbreaking held at noon on Wednesday, represents a new era in storm water management for Northwest Indiana. 
Matt Lake, Executive Director for Merrillville Stormwater Utility says the new Merrillville Stormwater Resource Center , will not only serve the operation side of the utility, it will also  "demonstrate water quality aspects and flood management aspects, so that everything we do here is an example of what should be done throughout the town and the entire Region."  Lake says, "we want to become the hub of stormwater management in Northwets Indiana.  So, I think it is a pinacle moment, not only for the town of Merrillville, but the Region in general."
According to a press release from the Utility, The Pangere Corporation of Gary submitted the lowest, most responsive bid in the amount of $849,410.00, which was awarded by the board.  The building is expected to be about 6,800 square feet and will be built at the utility's property at 7404 Broadway.  Construction will begin immediately, with the facility to be completed by the end of the year, according to Lake.

Matt Lake
Matt Lake, Executive Director for the Merrillville Stormwater Utility at Wednesday's groundbreaking of the utility's new Merrillville Stormwater Resource Center


Coming soon 2
A sign at the new site of the Merrillville Stormwater Resource Center to be built at 7404 Broadway in Merrillville

(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens/Radio One Communications)

Read more: Groundbreaking for Merrillville Stormwater Center


US Senate Passes Plan to Lower Student Interest Rates

Share this post

The US Senate today passed a bipartisan plan to lower student interest rates by a vote of 81 to 18. Both of Indiana's US Senators, Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly voted in favor of the proposal, which Senator Coats says is market-based and will allow students to take advantage of low interest rates while protecting taxpayers. Senator Donnelly says the proposal reduces rates on all student loans, not just subsidized Stafford loans, while putting in place a cap on how high the rates can grow.
# # #...

Read more: US Senate Passes Plan to Lower Student Interest Rates


Chicago City Council Approves Overhaul of Wrigley Field

Share this post

(An artist rendering of the proposed renovations at historic Wrigley Field in Chicago, photo courtesy of the Associated Press)
 It was a big win for the Cubs today. ABC News reports the Chicago City Council approved a massive overhaul of Wrigley Field. The 500 million dollar plan is privately financed, but neighbors in the Wrigleyville neighborhood have been fighting proposal, which includes a jumbotron, news signs, and a hotel across from the 99 year old ballpark. The Cubs did alter some of the plans before the city council's vote, which was applauded by Mayor Emanuel, who stated, "May this also bring forward, as others have noted, the team we would all like to see happen on the North side." The renovations will take five years to complete.
# # #...

Read more: Chicago City Council Approves Overhaul of Wrigley Field


Applications for Stuff the Bus Program Runs through Friday

Share this post

Salvation Army logo
      NIPSCO  continues to help Porter County residents with a donation of 50 Book Bags with school supplies and $2,400 to help the Army serve the community with additional school supplies. Thank you to our many donors that make it possible for The Salvation Army to spend thousands of dollars to assist families and singles in need every year. [a United Way Partner Agency].
        With over 3,000 children receiving free or reduced lunches in Porter County schools, it is apparent that many families are struggling to meet their own basic needs.  The Salvation Army of Porter County is asking for your kind help to get school supplies to as many of these children as possible so that they will have the tools they need to learn.  This is the 7th year we have set up a week for applying to the "Stuff the Bus" school supplies Program.
         Stuff the Bus is a program for low income families living in Porter County whose children need school supplies for the 2013-2014 school year. (Children must be age 5 by August 1, 2013 and registered to attend a school or be home-schooled).  This program is for students in kindergarten through 12th grade  (Note: some college students have received supplies in the past when it’s available — ask August 5th).   Applications will be taken July 22nd through 26th from 10:00-11:30am and 1:00-2:30pm.  The following items are needed with the person who is applying:        1) A photo ID of adult parent or guardian living in the household.        2) A birth certificate for every child student.  3) Social Security cards for everyone living in the household.  4) Proof of being a Porter County resident (current bill with name and address).
        Please help us collect the items needed to send these children back to school equipped to succeed.  The school items requested include: pens, pencils, paper, rulers, book bags or backpack, binders, trapper keeper, notebook, folders, crayons, markers, colored pencils, protractor, and calculator.  You can help by purchasing school items from our partner stores and then giving them to The Salvation Army volunteer representatives at the collection sites listed.  Partners and donors helping The Salvation Army "Stuff the Bus" for needy children in our area this year are the Coca Cola Company, NIPSCO, Staples, Wal-Mart, KMart, VFW Porter Memorial Post #2511, House of Berggren and many others.  The Salvation Army goal is to send as many of the children in need back to school with the supplies they use to learn.          
        Along with purchasing school supplies, other options include sending a check donation for The Salvation Army "Stuff the Bus" Program P.O. Box 828, Portage, IN 46368 and we’ll do the shopping for you.  You may also contact us directly by bringing in items to The Salvation Army Corps Community Center, 799 Capitol Rd. (on Highway 6, one block west of 149, South Haven) in Valparaiso, Monday-Friday, 9am-4pm.  Thank you for your donations and commitment to help the children in Porter County.  Contact us at The Salvation Army 762-9191 and ask for Kathy.  Target has helped the Army assist 20 different students per year with receiving new clothes for the fall in addition to other donors including Staples, KMart, WalMart, Coca Cola and NIPSCO.
        Thank you Porter County for your continuous support and volunteer spirit in serving the needs of thousands of our neighbors through the Army.  The Social Programs include food pantry, utility, rent, mortgage, medicine, transportation programs, bread and fresh foods distributions, Stuff the Bus School Supplies for Students Program, Summer Camps, the Annual free Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner, Angel Tree Toy & Clothing Program, Adopt-a-Family Program, Christmas & Easter Nursing Home/Shut-in Seniors Gift Program, Christmas Food Program and Youth & Family Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas Parties, Adult Clubs and Worship Services.
        (About) The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.saportercounty.orgor
 # # #...

Read more: Applications for Stuff the Bus Program Runs through Friday


Zoeller on Sex Trafficking and Federal Asian Carp Plan

Share this post

Indiana OAG Official Seal
INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and 48 other attorneys general called on Congress today to help states fight prostitution and child sex trafficking by amending a federal law.
In a letter to key members of Congress, the attorneys general advocated that Congress amend the Communications Decency Act to provide criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors.
“For Indiana and other states to be more effective in combating prostitution and child sex trafficking, the Communications Decency Act should be updated,” Zoeller said. “An amendment to this federal law could give local prosecutors the tools to hold accountable those who use technology to promote sexual exploitation.”
According to Zoeller, the Communications Decency Act of 1996 was drafted when the internet was in its infancy.  He said the purpose of the act was to protect children from accessing indecent material online, but courts have interpreted certain provisions of the act to provide immunity from State prosecution to online classified sites, such as 
Zoeller said prostitution is a local crime and absent interstate travel, federal property, or the involvement of a minor, prostitution is not a federal crime. While the Communications Decency Act provides criminal authority to the federal government, the attorneys general believe that criminal jurisdiction needs to be extended to help combat these crimes.
Local prosecutors report that prostitution solicitations have largely moved online., for example, generates an estimated $3 million to $4 million per month in revenue. While many websites include adult services sections, more than 250 children, in at least 35 states are known to have been trafficked on
Prior to the Super Bowl in Indianapolis in 2012, Zoeller urged the Indiana General Assembly to pass critical amendments to strengthen Indiana’s human trafficking law to facilitate recovery of trafficked victims and prosecution of traffickers. In 2013, Zoeller recommended updating the law to include that all youths below age 18 used in prostitution and/or sexual performances/conduct are victims of illegal child trafficking, which closes a potential loophole and removes a potential legal defense for criminal traffickers.
Zoeller is the co-chair of the Indiana Protection for Abused and Trafficked Humans (IPATH) task force. The task force has trained more than 5,800 persons including law enforcement, cab drivers, first responders, medical professionals and others so that they can identify human trafficking victims and know how to respond. Zoeller works with more than 60 organizations across the state to identify and recover and serve victims of human trafficking.
As part of the public awareness effort, the Attorney General’s office is collaborating with Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) and the Indiana Motor Truck Association (IMTA) to educate Indiana truck drivers about sex trafficking. The IMTA is challenging their members to provide training on human trafficking for all their drivers, and TAT has provided thousands of training DVDs, wallet-sized trafficking indicator cards, and decals to be placed in truck cabs, which display the National Human Trafficking Hotline number. Zoeller’s office is also working with the Indiana Hotel and Lodging Association, the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, Connect2Help 2-1-1, Prevent Child Abuse Indiana which is a division of The Villages, IARCCA – An Association of Children and Family Services, as well as training first responders and a number of state and federal agencies to identify and refer labor and sex trafficking victims.
Zoeller is the co-chair of the National Association of Attorneys General Standing Committee Against Human Trafficking and has been publicly supportive of many efforts to combat trafficking, including an initiative to reduce demand called “Don’t Buy the Lie.”
For more information about Zoeller’s human trafficking prevention efforts visit  
INDIANAPOLIS – Today the federal government issued its plan for preventing invasive Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes and controlling them in other waterways.  Last week, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller made a tour and inspection of portions of the Wabash River in Indiana, accompanied part of the distance by John Goss, the federal director of the Regional Asian Carp Coordinating Committee.  The coordinating committee’s plan, the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework, was issued today, and Zoeller issued this statement about it:
“We appreciate the assistance from Washington D.C. and especially the insightful efforts of Director John Goss, a native Hoosier who is an expert on this invasive species problem.  The proliferation of Asian carp threatens the sportfishing industry in the Wabash River and other waterways, and as the lawyer for state government, I want to ensure that Indiana’s concerns are taken into account as the federal government moves forward with its carp control efforts,” Zoeller said.
NOTE: The federal government’s Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework is at this link:
Background on the Attorney General’s Wabash River tour last week is at this link:
# # #

Read more: Zoeller on Sex Trafficking and Federal Asian Carp Plan


Overnight Closures of SR 55 (Taft Street) in Merrillville

Share this post

Indot Logo color
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the overnight closures of State Road 55 (Taft Street) about a mile north of U.S. 30 and just south of 73rd Avenue, on the evenings of Wednesday, July 24th and Thursday, July 25th. The closures are expected to be in place by 7:30 p.m. each night and lifted by 6 a.m. the following morning. Crews are replacing culverts.
Drivers wishing to travel north on SR 55 will be detoured east on U.S. 30, north on SR 53, west on 73rd Avenue, and back to SR 55. Drivers wishing to travel south on SR 55 will be detoured east on 73rd Avenue, south on SR 53, west on U.S. 30, and back to SR 55.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
# # #...

Read more: Overnight Closures of SR 55 (Taft Street) in Merrillville


Prostitution Sting Along IL/IN Stateline

Share this post

A joint operation between the Hammond Police Department and the Lake County Sheriff's Office resulted in a total of four arrests after decoy prostitutes were placed along the state line Tuesday, between Webb and Warren Streets. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller says the operation was a complete success, with no injuries to 21 officers involved or the men arrested, one of which was reportedly driving a cable company truck. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports, a 44 year old Lynwood, Illinois man, a 39 year old Calumet City, Illinois man, a 36 year old Lansing, Illinois man, and a 32 year old Lake Station man, have each been charged with patronizing a prostitute.
# # #...

Read more: Prostitution Sting Along IL/IN Stateline


IL Boy Trapped in Sand on 7/12 Released from Hospital

Share this post

A 6 year old Illinois boy was discharged Tuesday from the University of Chicago Medicine Comer Children's Hospital. According to a hospital statement, Nathan Woessner will continue receiving rehabilitative therapy elsewhere over the next several days. Less than two-weeks ago, July 12th, the Sterling boy became buried under eleven-feet of sand for more than three hours at Mt Baldy. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials say Mount Baldy is closed indefinitely as they try to determine why a hole opened up in the sand and as they look to see if there any other similar dangers at the park. ...

Read more: IL Boy Trapped in Sand on 7/12 Released from Hospital


1st Indiana Human Case of West Nile Reported for 2013

Share this post

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—The first human case of West Nile virus in Indiana has been reported in Ripley County, State health officials announced today. Hoosiers are encouraged to take steps to protect themselves from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.
In addition to the human case, mosquito groups in nine counties have now tested positive for the virus. Those counties include: Adams, Allen, Clinton, Grant, Hamilton, Jefferson, Starke, Vanderburgh and Vigo. The Indiana State Department of Health has collected and tested nearly 64,000 mosquitoes from 85 counties for West Nile virus and Saint Louis encephalitis. There have been no positive findings for Saint Louis encephalitis at this time.
“It is the time of the year when Hoosiers are at risk of getting West Nile virus and should take precautions against getting bitten by mosquitoes,” said Jennifer House, Director of Zoonotic & Veterinary Epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health. “Last year there were 77 cases in Indiana.”
State health officials recommend the following preventative measures:
·       Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting;
·       Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
·       Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,
·       When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
West Nile virus can cause West Nile fever, a mild form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
·       Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
·       Repair failed septic systems;
·       Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
·       Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
·       Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
·       Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
·       Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and,
·       Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.

Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their health care provider. 
For more information about mosquito safety, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s website at follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at
# # #...

Read more: 1st Indiana Human Case of West Nile Reported for 2013


Felony Theft Charges Filed Against Three Teens

Share this post

Alex Conwell
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
Three teenagers have been charged with felony theft for allegedly trying to steal money from a woman at a gas station. The Times reports the woman informed police she was at the Go-Lo, in the 300 block of West US 6, when a vehicle pulled up with three teens who asked her if she could make change for a ten or twenty dollar bill. According to the article, 18 year old Alex Conwell, of Hobart, reportedly grabbed money from the woman causing an injury to her hand. Police were able to located the suspect vehicle, and all three were arrested, with Conwell also being charged with battery.
# # #...

Read more: Felony Theft Charges Filed Against Three Teens


Powerball Jackpot Jumps to $166 Million

Share this post

hoosier lottery

Tonight's [Wed Jul 24 2013] Powerball jackpot is up to 166-million-dollars. Hoosier Lottery retailers have sold 38 Powerball jackpot winning tickets over the years, more than any other state. With the recent addition of California to the game, Powerball is now played in 43 states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hoosier Lottery officials say the most recent jackpot prize in Indiana was a 74-million-dollar jackpot win in Merrillville in April 2011.
The largest Powerball prize ever won in Indiana was a $314.3 million jackpot won in Richmond in August 2007.
The Hoosier Lottery reminds all players to play responsibly. Must be 18 or older to play.  Gambling Addiction Referral Line: 800-994-8448.  

Read more: Powerball Jackpot Jumps to $166 Million


Portage Hiring Freeze Lifted

Share this post

Portage Hiring Freeze Lifted
The mayor of Portage has lifted a nearly two-month old citywide hiring freeze.  A statement from Mayor James Snyder said, "Early and projected results of trash automation are beginning to have an easing effect on the fragile city budget."  He also said early retirement packages have had the greatest impact on the budget, with significant cost reductions in staff and healthcare.  The mayor also said estimates show Portage could have a nearly one-million dollar surplus at the end of the year if the city continues on the same course.  The hiring freeze was no longer in effect as of last Thursday, the mayor's statement said.
"This by no means is a reason to celebrate; however, it is a reason to thank Department Heads for their long, hard and arduous work ethic in Portage's quick budget turnaround," Snyder wrote. "As Mayor, we will never hire without making sure we have the proper resources to insure that new employee's long and successful tenure with Portage. My staff and I will continue to exercise caution and prudence as we make long-term decisions affecting all of the residents of Portage. This short hiring stay was no different than what many Portage families are doing during these difficult times - analyzing their finances and making decisions accordingly."

Read more: Portage Hiring Freeze Lifted


Munster Cal Ave, 45th Project Progressing

Share this post

Work continues to progress on eliminating gridlock at a busy set of intersections in Munster.  The most recent engineering and design reports are said to be on schedule for realigning 45th Street at Calumet Avenue, a project years in the making that would involve an underpass for cars and an overpass for trains.  The tracks cross Calumet between west and east 45th Streets.  Construction is expected to be a few years away. 

Read more: Munster Cal Ave, 45th Project Progressing


Stomach Bug Spreading

Share this post

stomach map WinCE
More than 250 people in at least six states – including Wisconsin and Iowa - have a stomach bug ... ten of them hospitalized. The Centers for Disease Control says the cyclospora infection causes diarrhea and other flu-like symptoms. ABC's Chief Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser: Besser says the CDC still doesn't know how the people are connected.  "CDC really has their hands full with this one," Besser said. "Cyclospora is the name of the bug. It's unusual. It tends to be found in the tropics. It's caused some outbreaks here in the past, from imported raspberries, from lettuce, from basil. It's not spread person to person."  Other cases have been reported in Nebraska, Texas, Georgia and Connecticut. The CDC also says Illinois and Kansas have also notified CDC of one case each that may have been acquired out of state. It is not yet clear whether the cases from all of the states are part of the same outbreak.
  • * Data are current as of 5pm EDT, 7/22/13. Data are preliminary and subject to change.
  • A total of 269 cases of Cyclospora infection have been reported from eight states. The number of cases identified in each state is as follows: Iowa (127)†, Nebraska (68)†, Texas (65)†, Wisconsin (4), Georgia (2), Connecticut (1), Illinois (1)‡, and Kansas (1)‡
  • † Total may include some international travel-associated cases (interviews pending)
  • ‡ Includes one case that was likely acquired in a neighboring state involved in the outbreak

Read more: Stomach Bug Spreading


Apparent Homicide in Hammond

Share this post

The Lake County Coroners Office reports a 58-year-old Hammond man was a victim of an apparent homicide and was pronounced dead at an area hospital just before 4:30 this morning.  Officials identified the victim James Edwards and said he suffered multiple gunshot wounds at his home in the 61-hundred block of Ray Street.  Hammond Police are investigating. 

Read more: Apparent Homicide in Hammond


NIPSCO Seeks $1B in Electric System Upgrades

Share this post

Northern Indiana Public Service Company is asking the state to approve a one-billion dollar modernization plan for its electric system that would include replacing poles, wires and transformers. The Times reports the Merrillville-based company is the first to present such a plan under a newly-enacted state law that allows utilities to pay for certain infrastructure improvements through surcharges called "trackers" added to customer bills. The request presented to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission could result in annual one-percent hikes in electric bills for NIPSCO customers in the coming years. The legislation, Senate Bill 560, was opposed by consumer groups.


Read more: NIPSCO Seeks $1B in Electric System Upgrades


Update on Grand Cal Restoration

Share this post

GC-River WinCE
The U-S Environmental Protection Agency says east branch dredging along the Grand Calumet River between Cline and Kennedy Avenues should start at the end of this month. An open house was held Tuesday at the East Chicago Public Library on the Grand Calumet River sediment cleanup and habitat restoration. Federal officials say sediment cleanup on the west branch from the state line to Hohman Avenue is in design, and the project team anticipates cleanup could begin this December or January.
This is a separate project from the US Army Corps of Engineers removing over a million cubic yards of polluted sediment from the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal. Officials say the Ship Canal is downstream from the Grand Calumet River and is not a natural habitat area.
[Photo/The Grand Calumet River Revitalized pamphlet]

Read more: Update on Grand Cal Restoration


CP Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Share this post

A Crown Point family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a 42-year-old Chicago man and a Chicago bar in connection with a fatal crash on the Dan Ryan near 95th Street last November. Police say 21-year-old Philip Briner, who was on his way home from work at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago, died after his pickup truck was struck by an alleged drunk driver who reportedly crossed five lanes of traffic on the southbound side of the expressway. A statement from their attorney Patrick Salvi says the Briner family hopes no family will have to experience the loss they did, and want to remind drivers of the tragic consequences that can happen if they drink and drive.

Read more: CP Family Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit


Gary Mayor Submits Requested Plan to Governor Pence

Share this post

The Mayor of Gary today responded to Governor Mike Pence's request for a law enforcement plan detailing how a request for state assistance would fit into the city's long-term plans for self-sufficiency in light of 31 homicides this year. In the letter, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says the situation is now “beyond urgent” and has worked with the police department to outline a plan. The Mayor says a majority of the anticipated resources the city will receive from the one-point-five percent income tax will be dedicated to funding public safety needs that were neglected over the last decade She also stated the city's engagement with Lake County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, and the Public Safety Council of Lake County One Region continues in the form of saturation patrols, and that in the coming weeks, the city will work with personnel from the US Department of Justice to maximize their work with HIDTA.
# # #...

Read more: Gary Mayor Submits Requested Plan to Governor Pence


Former State Senator William Costas Dead at the Age of 84

Share this post

william costas
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A former state senator and grocery store owner has passed away. The Times reports William Costas died at his home today at the age of 84. According to the article, Costas opened “Costas Foods” in Valparaiso in 1972 before selling the business to Wiseway in 1998, and served two-terms in the state senate, from 1980 to1988, before losing a bid for a third term. Costas is survived by his wife Diane and six children, one of which is Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas.
# # #...

Read more: Former State Senator William Costas Dead at the Age of 84


Page 279 of 486


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


Flash is not supported on this device. If you wish to listen to this audio, you must download and play an mp3 using an mp3 player on your device. CLICK HERE