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Officials: Air Pocket Kept Boy Alive at Mt Baldy

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abc7 sanddune pic
Officials say they believe an air pocket may have helped keep an Illinois boy alive after he was swallowed under eleven-feet of dune sand at Mount Baldy in Michigan City Friday afternoon. The child's parents were nearby when he became trapped. Officials tell ABC News the boy may have been saved by an air pocket deep inside that sinkhole created by an old tree. The youngster is reportedly still being treated for sand that he may have ingested into his lungs.
Construction crews and NIPSCO were among those responding to rescue the child, who was flown to a Chicago hospital and was reportedly in “pretty good shape”.  The Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says the park will remain closed through the weekend.
Here is the latest information released today from National Lakeshore officials:
INDIANA DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE: National park rangers and Michigan City Police were notified at approximately 4:30 p.m. on July 12 that a 6-year old boy had fallen into a hole on the Mount Baldy sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. A rescue effort was conducted by National Park Service personnel, Michigan City Police and Fire units, LaPorte County EMS and heavy equipment operators from D & M Excavators, Woodruff and Son, and NIPSCO. The boy was found 11 feet below the surface of the dune and transported to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City and then later flown to a medical facility in Chicago. The boy has vital signs, but his exact condition is not yet known.
Mount Baldy will remain closed over the weekend while an investigation into the cause of this accident is conducted. A determination will be made Monday morning on whether it will be reopened.
[Photo/ABC 7 Chicago]
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COPS Ride Leaves Lake Co for Kentland

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The 11th Annual COPS Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride rode into the Region Friday with stops in La Porte, Porter and Lake Counties, including the Porter County Sheriffs Department in Valparaiso. After a visit to Graceland Cemetery in Valparaiso, a police motorcade escorted nearly 50 cyclists to an overnight stop in Merrillville where the group paused to remember fallen Lake County Corrections Officer Britney Meux.  Riders are also remembering Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting a prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
The nearly one-thousand mile thirteen-day bicycle tour around the perimeter of the state continues with a 65-mile journey from Merrillville to Kentland today.  The ride raises funds to help surviving family members of officers killed in the line of duty.
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.
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Region Night Rides Ahead

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WHAM ride 2012 WinCE
Hammond/Whiting WHAM Ride 2012
Tis the season for night rides in the Region.. a quartet of bike rides after dark are happening across Lake, Porter, LaPorte, and Cook Counties, over the next few weeks.  NIRPC Transportation Planning Manager Mitch Barloga says a night ride lets you hit the streets without the normal daytime traffic, and a with a big group of people.  He says they also put a spotlight on the growing network of bike trails in the Region, especially in Hammond.
The first of the four is the LaPorte Parks and Recreation Night Ride this Friday July 19th. Then, the very first LOOP Ride, Lansing Overnight on Pedals, July 27th. On August 3rd, it's the Whiting-Hammond After Midnight... or WHAM... Ride, and August 24th Valparaiso's Night Ride.
Region Night Rides Ahead
Valpo's Night Ride 2012
[Photos provided]
You can hear our interview with Mitch Barloga here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
FRIDAY, JULY 19th, 10 pm,LaPorte Parks & Recreation Night Ride ten-mile starlit bike ride with check-in beginning at 9 pm at Kesling Park Shelter #4:
The LOOP ride, or Lansing Overnight on Pedals event, will take place on July 27th.   Details on this event can be found right here:  http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e77nh60e0b7b33dc&llr=luieaamab
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD:  Whiting-Hammond After Midnight (WHAM) Ride.  Event details on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/246107232199765/
Registration via this link:  http://beta.active.com/hammond-in/cycling/cycling-event-wham-ride-2013
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24th:  Valparaiso Night Ride.  Event and registration details via this link:  http://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/index.aspx?NID=1057
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Virtual Public Hrg on Non-Profits Serving Food

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The Food Protection Division of the Indiana State Health Department is holding a virtual public hearing to determine if non-profits serving food to the public should be required to demonstrate knowledge of safe food handling. The department has created an open survey to get input that'll be available online through the end of August [Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013]. [lw]
Here's more info:
The Food Protection Division of the Indiana State Health Department is holding a virtual public hearing determining if not-for-profit organizations serving food to members or the public should be required to demonstrate knowledge of safe food handling. The comments will assist with recommendations to be made to the state legislative health and finance committee per Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 457. The bill states the Indiana State Department of Health shall review applicable laws and rules governing exceptions to the requirements for certified food handlers and rules on the number of days per year these entities are exempt from inspection, and present recommendations to clarify the existing laws to the health and finance commission before Oct. 31, 2013. In order to formulate these recommendations, the state department of health has created this open survey to gain input and opinions on the matter. The survey can accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/6577K5V and will be open from Thursday July 11 through Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013.
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Hundreds Taking Part in Valpo Triathlon

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The 11th annual Valparaiso Triathlon is today [Sat Jul 13 2013].   Athletes take part in a quarter-mile swim, a twelve-point-four mile bike ride, and a three-point-two mile run, in that order, with the race starting at 8 in the morning at Rogers-Lakewood Park in Valparaiso. Race Director Barbie Johnson says the overall lengths of the race qualify it as a sprint triathlon. These types of triathlons are the shortest and generally bring in the widest variety of athletes.  Hundreds of people have signed up.
www.valpotri.net
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Gary Requests Assistance From State Police

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Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson has sent a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, requesting backup from Indiana State Police after a spate of shootings and homicides. Five people were killed in the past week. Today's Times says the mayor is asking the state to provide additional manpower, and that she's hoping to receive an answer by this weekend.
Gary Police say a 24-year-old restaurant employee was shot to death outside Chicago Style Polish on West 53rd Avenue early Thursday evening, and a motive is not known.  Less than 24-hours earlier, police say a Gary teenager was fatally shot in the 15-hundred block of Burr Street while sitting in the backseat of a vehicle with some friends who'd gone to a gas station Wednesday night:  Police are also investigating the shooting deaths of three people over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.
Authorities say 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. Police were called out to the five-thousand block of Pennsylvania Street at 6:30 Friday morning and found a 46-year-old man fatally wounded. Authorities say Friday night shortly before 10 pm, a 19-year-old man was shot in the 500 block of Delaware Street and died the next day.
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Boy Pulled from Sand Hole at Mt Baldy

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A young boy playing on a dune at Mount Baldy in Michigan City Friday is rsecued after being swallowed up by a sand hole.  After about three and a half hours Friday, workers lifted the child from under eleven-feet of sand using heavy machinery and shovels and he was taken to a Chicago hospital.   NIPSCO and local construction firms also responded.  National Lakeshore officials say Mount Baldy in Michigan City will remain closed the rest of the weekend.  A posting on the Indiana Dunes Facebook page says the child, who spent over three hours in the hole, is reported to be in “pretty good shape”.  The dune is the park's tallest, standing at 124 feet along Lake Michigan, equivalent to a 12-story building.
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German Measles Case at VU

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The Indiana State Department of Health says a case of rubella (German measles) has been diagnosed in an international student at Valparaiso University in Porter County. State and local health officials are working with the university to identify potential additional cases.
Rubella is a contagious, viral respiratory disease transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact. Rubella is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, however visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel. Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012, but prior to that, the state had not had a case since 1996.
The major public health risk associated with rubella is congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to rubella. Infection may cause severe birth defects or death in an unborn baby.
Individuals in the Porter County area and on campus may have been exposed to rubella. State health officials are asking people who visited the following locations on Sunday, July 7, 2013, to contact their health care provider to check their immunization status.
•                  Target (2420 Laporte Ave., Valparaiso)
•                  7-11 (708 E. Lincoln Way, Valparaiso)
Valparaiso University is contacting students, faculty and parents who may have been exposed.
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Rubella Confirmed at Valparaiso University

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indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—A case of rubella (German measles) has been diagnosed in an international student at Valparaiso University in Porter County. State and local health officials are working with the university to identify potential additional cases.
Rubella is a contagious, viral respiratory disease transmitted primarily through direct or droplet contact. Rubella is rare in the United States due to the widespread availability of the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine, however visitors from other countries or U.S. citizens traveling abroad can become infected before or during travel. Indiana had one case of rubella in 2012, but prior to that, the state had not had a case since 1996.
The major public health risk associated with rubella is congenital rubella syndrome (CRS), which occurs when a pregnant woman is exposed to rubella. Infection may cause severe birth defects or death in an unborn baby.
Individuals in the Porter County area and on campus may have been exposed to rubella. If you visited the following locations on Sunday, July 7, 2013, please contact your health care provider to check your immunization status.
•                  Target (2420 Laporte Ave., Valparaiso)
•                  7-11 (708 E. Lincoln Way, Valparaiso)

Valparaiso University is contacting students, faculty and parents who may have been exposed.
More than 95 percent of people who receive a single dose of MMR will develop immunity to rubella and more than 99 percent will be protected after receiving a second dose. One dose of rubella-containing vaccine (measles-mumps-rubella) is needed to be fully protected. Individuals are encouraged to check with their health care providers to ensure vaccinations are up-to-date.
Children are routinely vaccinated for rubella at 1 year of age, and again at 4-6 years of age before going to kindergarten. 
Symptoms
In children, rubella usually causes a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body, accompanied by a low fever (less than 101 degrees). These symptoms last two or three days. Older children and adults may also have swollen glands and symptoms like a cold before the rash appears. Aching joints occur in many cases, especially among young women. About half of the people who get rubella do not have symptoms.
What you can do
If you are experiencing the symptoms of rubella and feel you may have been exposed, stay home and call your doctor. Be prepared to describe your symptoms and alert your doctor if you think you have been in contact with an infected person. If you are ill with rubella, remain home and away from others, especially pregnant women, unvaccinated infants and people with diseases affecting their immune systems.
For more information about rubella, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at  http://www.cdc.gov/Features/Rubella/.
To visit the Indiana State Department of Health, go to www.StateHealth.in.gov.
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Woman Gets 10 Years for Child Molestation, Exploitation

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A woman was sentenced to ten-years in prison today after a judge accepted her plea agreement after pleading guilty in May to one count of felony child molestation and one count of child exploitation. Tara Tryon received ten-years on the molestation charge and eight-years for the exploitation charge, which will be served concurrently. Tryon, as part of the plea agreement, admitted to molesting a two year old she babysat for in Chesterton, beginning in April of 2010, and sending photos of the acts to her boyfriend, 27 year old Ryan Schroeder, who was in the Navy at the time. Schroeder received 54 years in prison after being found guilty on numerous felony charges, which included aiding child molesting and possession of child pornography.
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LaPorte Co Hwy Dept: Johnson Rd to Reopen Friday Evening

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Officials with the LaPorte County Highway Department reports Johnson Road is scheduled to to be reopened sometime this evening, after rain last month washed away a section of the roadway. Pahs Road though won't reopen for at least another day or so, as a gas line needs to be relocated before drainage pipes can be installed there.
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Police Motorcade Traveling WB US-30 Toward Merrillville

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Rich Crawford
President of COPS Cycling for Survivors Foundation, and Mstr. Trooper of the Indiana State Police, Rich Crawford at the Porter County Sheriffs Department headquarters in Valparaiso


Drivers on US-30 need to be aware of a police motorcade escorting some 50 cyclists participating in the COPS Cycling for Survivors bicycle ride is in the right lane traveling westbound on US-30 from Valparaiso to Merrillville.  Master Trooper, Rich Crawford, President of the organization says fifty-one cyclists set out on Monday on a thirteen day trip that will cover nearly one-thousand milles around the perimeter of the state.  Crawford says funds raised during the ride help surviving family members and co-workers of officers killed in the line-of-duty.  The group is traveling to Merrillville, to remember Lake COunty Corrections Officer Britney Meux who was struck and killed by a vehicle while on a training run near the Lake County Jailm and Indiana Department of Corrections Officer Timothy Betts, who suffered a heart attack while escorting a prisoner to the segregation unit at Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.


support vehicle
Support vehicle for Cycling for Survivors cyclists at Porter County Sheriffs Department in Valparaiso on Friday, July 12, 2013


cyclists leave
Cycling for Survivors cyclists depart for Graceland Cemetery before heading westbound on US-30 toward Merrillville for an overnight stay before leaving for the 65 mile trip to Kentland Saturday morning


(photos courtesy Jay Stevens & Radio One Communications)


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Man with Child in Vehicle During Police Pursuit Arrested

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Danielle Jackson
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 30 year old Gary man was taken into custody after leading police on a chase Thursday afternoon. The Times reports police attempted to arrest Danielle Johnson after receiving information about his alleged involvement in a possible drug deal in a restaurant parking lot off US 20, but Jackson fled east on US 20 evading authorities until he apprehended in a business parking lot in the 300 block of US 20 in Burns Harbor. According to the article, Jackson had his 11 year old son in the vehicle with him during the pursuit, who was released to relatives.
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Two Day Closure of SR 39 NW of Knox Starts Monday

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STARKE/LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the closure of State Road 39, between SR 8 and U.S. 30, beginning Monday, July 15th through the end of the day Tuesday, July 16th. Crews will perform a chip seal and fog seal operation to preserve the road surface. Please note: this project is dependent on dry weather and may be delayed if conditions aren’t ideal.
Drivers wishing to travel northbound on SR 39 will be detoured west on SR 8, north on U.S. 421, east on U.S. 30 and back to SR 39. Drivers wishing to travel southbound on SR 39 will be detoured west on U.S. 30, south on U.S. 421, east on SR 8, and back to SR 39.
The chip-seal process consists of distributing a liquid asphalt emulsion on the roadway and covering the liquid asphalt with crushed stone to provide a new wearing surface. Chip-sealing extends the life of a roadway by protecting it from moisture, ultra-violet degradation, and any other damaging exposures.
Drivers should exercise caution during these projects. Loose stone will be present on the roadway during the initial cure of the asphalt and can damage windshields and paint on vehicles that may be following each other too closely. It is recommended when travelling on a recently chip-sealed road to slow down and allow additional space between vehicles.
The fog seal is being applied on top of the chip-seal work. The fog seal is a light application of asphalt material that can lock in loose stone and help with dust problems. It also makes the road black, which makes pavement markings more visible.
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 www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Anew Life Youth Development Corp. to Receive Grant $

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pete visclosky
A non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training will receive over one-million dollars in grant money for youth development. Indiana US Congressman Pete Visclosky announced today that Anew Life Youth Development Corporation will receive the funds for its YouthBuild Gary program, who works with partners throughout Northwest Indiana to assist youths looking to build professional skills while earning their degree. The Corporation's Executive Director, Pastor Marvin Davis, says the opportunity will allow them to build a stronger network of services for the YouthBuild Gary Program, and allow 60 selected youth a great pathway to self-sufficiency.
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Some IL Counties Won't Wait for Conceal-Carry Permits

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Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart on Thursday issued a statement regarding the newly passed Firearm Concealed Carry Act, saying the earliest date an individual could be issued a conceal-carry license and be authorized to carry a concealed handgun under the Act would likely be February 10th, 2014. Sheriff Dart also reminds the public that conceal-carry licenses issued by other states does not authorize you to be able to carry a concealed handgun in Illinois, and that possession of a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card does not authorize the carrying of a concealed handgun under the Act.
Meanwhile, published reports say 14 Illinois County State's Attorney's report they will not arrest those carrying a handgun who have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card, despite state police officials warning that they will arrest anyone carrying a gun.
Carrying a concealed handgun without a license constitutes aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, which is a felony, and punishable by one-to-three years in prison.
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Mosquito Spraying Underway In Michigan City

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Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer, Superintendent of Central Services, Robert Zondor, and Vector Control Officer, David Morlan would like to announce that the mosquito abatement and mosquito control spraying has begun and will continue throughout the city, weather permitting, between the hours of 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. The city is asking the public to please be alert and to give appropriate space when you see a truck with flashing lights and attached spraying ULV machine.
Vector Control is conducting the mosquito adulticiding (spraying for adult mosquito control.) The department started spraying on the outer perimeter of the city in late June and will continue working their way into the middle of the city until all areas have been treated. At that point, the process will start over again and spraying will continue until the mosquitoes are no longer a nuisance.
In addition to the adulticiding, vector control is also larvaciding low lying areas where there is standing water. With the excessive rain and warm temperatures, mosquitoes are particularly thick this season. Residents can help alleviate the breeding of new mosquitoes by addressing these items on their property:
  • Get rid of old tires, tin cans, buckets, drums, bottles or any water holding containers
  • Fill in or drain any low places (puddles, ruts) in yard
  • Clean gutters periodically
  • Keep drains, ditches & culverts clean of weeds & trash so water will drain properly
  • Cover trash containers to keep out rain water
  • Repair leaky pipes & outside faucets
  • Empty plastic wading pools at least once a week & store them indoors when not in use
  • Make sure your backyard pool is properly cared for while on vacation
  • Fill in tree rot holes & hollow stumps that hold water with sand or concrete
  • Change water in bird baths & plant pots or drip trays at least once a week
  • Keep grass cut short & shrubbery well trimmed around the house so adult mosquitoes will not hide there

The City of Michigan City would like to thank our citizens for their patience and active participation in these efforts.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Vector Control Department at 873-1500.
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Church Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Church Macedonian
In Crown Point, Saints Peter and Paul Macedonian Church is celebrating its 50th anniversary this week. His Beatitude, Archbishop G. G. Stefan of Ohrid and  Macedonia, arrived for this week's event. The church at 97-hundred Broadway was built in 1988, but the original church was built in the 51-hundred block of Virginia Street in Gary's Glen Park neighborhood and consecrated in 1963. Officials say the church was the first Macedonian Orthodox church to be built in North America.
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Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Illiana

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Three conservation groups have filed suit to stop the Illiana Expressway. The highway, as proposed, would be a 47-mile tollway linking I-65 in south Lake County in northwest Indiana to I-55 near Wilmington in Illinois. A lawsuit filed on behalf of Openlands, Sierra Club, and Midewin Heritage Association contends the highway conflicts with land-use plans developed by regional planning groups in Indiana and Illinois. Lawyers for the groups also contend the route will harm natural areas, and the complaint alleges the Federal Highway Administration should not have approved an environmental study on the project.
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Indiana BMV to Credit Drivers for Overcharges

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says they'll be issuing a credit to Hoosiers who paid too much for their driver’s licenses. A class-action lawsuit alleged that the BMV has overcharged for licenses collecting more than allowed under state law. Late last month, the agency issued a statement saying they were lowering the cost of licenses immediately, after discovering a “miscalculation resulting in a $3.50 discrepancy for the six, five and four year standard operator's licenses”. The BMV says affected Indiana drivers will see the credit reflected in their next transaction either through the BMV's website or at a local branch.  “In order to make Hoosiers whole, we believe it is important to return the overcharge directly to those who have been impacted. It is the right thing to do," said R. Scott Waddell, Commissioner of the BMV, in a news release issued this morning.
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