Red Cross Issues Excessive Heat Safety Tips

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Amer. Red Cross
Chicago, July 16, 2013 — Summer is here, bringing with it dangerous excessive heat. The American Red Cross has steps people can follow to stay safe as the temperatures soar.
“Excessive heat can be deadly; it has caused more deaths in recent years than all other weather events,” said Fran Edwardson, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago. “We want everyone to stay safe during the hot weather and have some reminders for them to follow when the weather is hot and humid.”
NEVER LEAVE CHILDREN, PETS IN THE CAR, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Other heat safety steps include:
§  Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
§  Avoid extreme temperature changes.
§  Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
§  Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
§  Postpone outdoor games and activities.
§  Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
§  Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
§  Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
§  If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should choose places to go to for relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day (schools, libraries, theaters, malls).

HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes. 
If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

HEAT STROKE IS LIFE-THREATENING. Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, people can visit, download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist, or download the free Red Cross First Aid. The app is available for iPhone and Android smart phone and tablet users in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross. People can learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to for information and to register.
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DeMotte Man Confesses to Killing Another DeMotte Man

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An investigation continues after a 21 year old man confessed on Sunday to killing a 23 year old DeMotte man. The Jasper County Sheriff's Office reports that while interviewing the suspect, Cameron Sifrer, of DeMotte, he informed deputies that he was at Derek Bobby's residence, located on County Road 11-hundred North, near DeMotte, when the two got into an argument while partying, which led to the victim being killed. Authorities report an autopsy was scheduled to be conducted Monday. The Sheriff's Office reports they found the victim late Friday morning, in the bedroom of the home, who had been deceased for several hours with severe head trauma.
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Schererville PD Investigating Armed Robbery

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Schererville PD
In Schererville, police are investigating an armed robbery incident that occurred Sunday night at 9:30, at Harvest Drive and 75th Avenue. Police report a man and woman were walking their dog when a dark-colored, older model two-door Cavalier, with Illinois registration approached them, and the passenger in the vehicle pointed a handgun at them, ordering them to give up their money and to empty their pockets, which they did. Police say the suspects are two black males, with the passenger described as thin, with braids, between the ages of 22 and 30, 5'05” to 5'10”, weighing 140 to 170 pounds. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Schererville Police.
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Mount Baldy Closed Indefinitely

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mt baldy WinCE
The National Park Service has extended the closure of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore’s Mount Baldy indefinitely to bring in additional resources for the investigation of the sand hole that opened up on July 12 trapping a six-year old boy for 3 ½ hours. The boy was rescued and is currently in critical condition at a Chicago hospital, but doctors Monday announced the child was making a rapid recovery.

Based on evidence gathered at the scene, park officials say they're looking into the possibility that the hole was created by a long-buried tree that had decomposed leaving a void in the sand. While no such occurrence has ever been observed in the park, officials plan to bring in ground sensing equipment to look under the surface of the dune to see if voids or other potential hazards can be identified. Additional expertise is being sought from the Geologic Resource Division of the National Park Service and other sources. A safety protocol is also being developed before park staff or researchers are allowed onto Mt. Baldy.

Park officials stress that the closure is being strictly enforced to protect the public. The closure includes, Mount Baldy, its parking lot, trails and beach area. Signs are posted warning of the closure. Anyone entering the closed area is subject to law enforcement action.


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Union Mills Co-Op to be Rebuilt

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Company officials say experts have been able to assess the extent of damage at the scene following a fatal explosion at a grain elevator in Northwest Indiana last month. 67 year old James Swank of Union Mills who worked at the facility for seven-years was killed.. In addition to investigators from the Department of Homeland Security and ATF, the Union Mills location has been inspected by Indiana OSHA and US EPA officials. Co-Alliance LLP out of Avon, Indiana, says reconstruction is beginning immediately, with plans for the facility to be fully restored by spring of 2014. Co-Alliance CEO Kevin Still says the reconstruction plan also includes the goal of receiving soybeans at harvest and wet corn by October first of this year. The Union Mills Co-Op serves hundreds of La Porte County farmers.


Read more: Union Mills Co-Op to be Rebuilt


Kouts Police Chief to Retire

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The Police Chief in Kouts is retiring at the end of next month. 46-year-old Chief James Boyce,who's been a policeman for two decades, joined the department in 1998 after five years with Porter County Sheriffs Police, and was named chief in 2007. His father and grandfather served as Gary Police officers; his father, Officer James “J.R.” Boyce, Jr, was off-duty returning home when he was shot and killed in the line of duty, responding to a robbery in progress at a restaurant on Dunes Highway (US 12) in October 1974. Upon retirement, Kouts Chief Boyce will be assisting his wife in operating a veterinary lab they own.

Read more: Kouts Police Chief to Retire


N Ind Fish Kill Investigated

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Indiana Conservation Officers are seeking help from the public in finding who was responsible for a fish kill in northern Indiana's Kosciusko County. Investigators determined more than 430 fish had been killed in a private landowner's pond, and say they believe an unlawful field application or more likely an unlawful dump from a manure honey wagon took place immediately upstream from the kill, possibly just a day or two prior to the dead fish being discovered.

Read more: N Ind Fish Kill Investigated


'Mount Baldy Miracle Fund' Started

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The non-profit Unity Foundation of La Porte County has started an effort -- The Mount Baldy Miracle Fund – to help the family of a six-year-old Sterling, Illinois, boy rescued from beneath eleven-feet of sand at Mount Baldy in Michigan City Friday. Doctors in Chicago say six-year-old Nathan Woessner is recovering rapidly, though they continue to address the issue of sand in his lungs. The child is expected to be at University of Chicago for about two weeks. Officials say he was climbing the giant sand dune with family when he was pulled under. Rescuers reached him four hours later, and authorities believe an air pocket below saved his life.

Read more: 'Mount Baldy Miracle Fund' Started


Woman Dies After Golf Cart Accident

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Authorities say a golf cart accident in the Region has left a 25 year old Massachusetts, woman dead. Police say Jennie Welch passed away at an Indianapolis hospital Sunday afternoon at an after falling off a golf cart as it was going down a steep hill near the intersection of Cypress Lane and West Road in Dunes Acres around 4-o'clock that morning. Police say 27 year old Jason Pelton, of San Francisco, California, ran to a nearby house to call for help, and told authorities he was driving the cart back from a wedding reception. He was arrested on a drunk driving charge.

Read more: Woman Dies After Golf Cart Accident


Hammond Death Investigated

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Police in Hammond are investigating the death of a homeless man whose body was spotted underneath a truck by a passerby in the 56-hundred block of Calumet Avenue shortly before 10-o'clock Monday morning. The Lake County Coroners office says cause and manner of death for 49-year-old Benjamin Miles are pending. Lt. Richard Hoyda says there were no obvious signs of foul play.

Read more: Hammond Death Investigated


Cooling Centers in the Region

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IDEM SmogWatch
The city of Gary is among those around the Region reminding residents to take precautions in the heat wave. City officials announced cooling center locations for this week include the Genesis Convention Center, the Hudson Campbell Fitness Center, the Calumet Township Trustee Multipurpose Center, and the Public Safety Facility.
In Michigan City, Mayor Ron Meer says the Michigan City Police Station, on West 2nd Street is available 24-hours... Michigan City Senior Center is 8am-to-4pm; Michigan City City Hall from 8am-to-4:30pm; and the Michigan City Public Library, during business hours.
Portage Township Trustee Brendan Clancy says all three Portage Fire Stations as well as the South Haven Fire Department are available for residents who need a cool place to stay. Clancy also advises you to stay indoors if possible, and to check on the elderly and disabled frequently and to stay hydrated.
Another Air Quality Alert is in effect for Northwest Indiana today.

Read more: Cooling Centers in the Region


One-Day Closures on Nine-Mile Stretch

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sr55 closures
Lake County motorists are advised to watch out for closures on State Road 55 south of Crown Point for the next three days for pipe replacements. INDOT says these closures will each last one day and reopen by the evening. Today (Tuesday): 55 will be closed at 133rd Avenue ... 145th Avenue, and Thursday at 159th Avenue

Read more: One-Day Closures on Nine-Mile Stretch


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]


Read more: Officials: Air Pocket Kept Boy Alive at Mt Baldy


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:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 3RD:  Whiting-Hammond After Midnight (WHAM) Ride.  Event details on their Facebook page:
Registration via this link:
SATURDAY, AUGUST 24th:  Valparaiso Night Ride.  Event and registration details via this link:

Read more: Region Night Rides Ahead


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 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.


Read more: Hundreds Taking Part in Valpo Triathlon


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.


Read more: Gary Requests Assistance From State Police


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.


Read more: Boy Pulled from Sand Hole at Mt Baldy


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.

Read more: German Measles Case at VU


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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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