IN to Implement 3% Contracting Goal for Veteran-Owned Businesses

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Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today announced the next step in helping veterans do more business with the state, encouraging them to register their Indiana small businesses as veteran-owned. Beginning July 1, the state will implement a 3 percent state contracting goal for veteran-owned businesses.
“Expanding business opportunities for the men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom is right for them and right for the state,” said Governor Pence. “It will help our veterans find success, improve our state’s workforce and increase private sector employment in Indiana.”
The Governor first outlined the state’s contracting goal for veteran-owned businesses last summer, and established the 3 percent target when he signed Executive Order 13-04 on his first day in office.
In April, Governor Pence signed Senate Enrolled Act 564, which codified the executive order  requiring the Department of Administration (DOA) to procure at least 3 percent of state contracts with veteran-owned small businesses (VOSBs). The law also requires the DOA to adopt rules, develop policies and set forth guidelines regarding contracting opportunities for VOSBs.
Veteran-owned businesses that are not registered with DOA should go to and complete the instructions to become registered vendors. Although the law does not take effect until July 1, veteran-owned businesses should have their status in place for any new contract bidding opportunities that become available at that time.
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Read more: IN to Implement 3% Contracting Goal for Veteran-Owned Businesses


Cruise Night Parking Restrictions, Rd Closures and Detours

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(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)
The following parking restrictions, street closures and detours will be in effect on La Porte's Annual Cruise Night, Saturday, June 8th.
– There will be no parking allowed on Lincolnway from the hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The police department will have signs posted indicating this.
– The following street closures will be in effect from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and detour signage will be in place:
- Lincolnway from Adams Street to I Street;
- J Street from First Street to Sixth Street;
- K Street from First Street to Ind. 2;
- Pine Lake Avenue overpass from Kroger Plaza to Lincolnway;
- the cruise route east turnaround of Adams Street from Lincolnway to State Street; State Street from Adams to Linwood; and Linwood from State Street to Lincolnway.
- Indiana Avenue will also be closed to semi-truck traffic and detoured at Boyd Boulevard.
Please be alert for traffic congestion and pedestrian traffic around the cruise route area.
The La Porte Police Department wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable evening!
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Hammond Man Gets 10 yrs for Battery and Neglect of a Dependent

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A Hammond man was sentenced today to 10 years in the Indiana Department of Corrections for battery and neglect of a dependent. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Stacy Striblin received four-years on the battery charge and ten-years for the neglect of a dependent charge, and that the sentences will run concurrently. Striblin was charged in January of 2012 for striking a woman and also injuring a three-month old child who was being held by the woman.
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Read more: Hammond Man Gets 10 yrs for Battery and Neglect of a Dependent


Deceased Person Found in Michigan City During Welfare Check

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The Michigan City Police Department is seeking the assistance of the public after a deceased person was discovered during a welfare check. Police say officers were dispatched to the 500 block of East 8th, just before 6:30 this morning, and at last check, the identification of the deceased is being withheld until next of kin are located. Anyone with information is asked to contact Cpl. Greg Jesse at (219) 874-3221 ext 318.
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Read more: Deceased Person Found in Michigan City During Welfare Check


Two People Found Injured by Train Tracks in Lowell

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Lake Co. Sherrif
An investigation continues regarding two individuals found with what appeared to be severe injuries, lying near the railroad tracks west of Parish Avenue in unincorporated Lowell. The Lake County Sheriff's Office reports a Norfolk and Southern Railroad employee reported the incident at 9am this morning. One individual was unconscious and the other was conscious, but incoherent, and both were transported to St. Anthony's Hospital in Crown Point for treatment. Authorities say at this time it is unknown how the individuals got there, or how long they had been there prior to being discovered, and what the circumstances are surrounding the incident.
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Read more: Two People Found Injured by Train Tracks in Lowell


Teir Two Illiana Corridor Public Meetings Announced

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Two public open houses have been scheduled for later this month regarding the second tier of the proposed Illiana Corridor. Officials say, based on previous feedback, I-DOT and INDOT will be presenting refinements to the preferred corridor, interchange types and locations, local road connectivity, overpass and underpass locations, environmental protection and opportunities. The Indiana public meeting is scheduled for June 17th, from 5 to 8pm, at Lowell Middle School, while the Illinois public meeting will take place during those same hours the next day at Peotone High School. A continuous power point presentation will take place throughout both public meetings, and a question and answer forum will be held at 6pm each day.
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Read more: Teir Two Illiana Corridor Public Meetings Announced


Three Separate Shooting Incidents in Gary Overnight

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Gary Police are investigating three separate shooting incidents overnight and into this morning. Corp. Gabrielle King says 17 year old Antwon Davis Jr. was walking east on 47th Avenue at Broadway, when an unknown vehicle pulled up and the occupants opened fire striking Davis in the leg. Anyone with information or who may have been area at the time of the shooting is encouraged to contact Detective James Bond, at (219) 881-47-51.
Meanwhile at 11:30 Wednesday night, Corp. King says 54 year old Edward Pointer reported that he was shot at 6th and Washington Street, but police do not have much to go on regarding this incident because he refused to give them any details.
Finally, just before 5am this morning, officers were dispatched to a call of shots fired at 25th and Clark Road. Corp. Kings when officers arrived in the area they were stopped by two hysterical females who claimed to have been shot at by two men in an orange S-U-V.   Corp. King says officers were able to locate the vehicle in question, and recovered two handguns from the vehicle. Both the driver, 23 year old Darrius Wilkins, and his passenger, 25 year old Emmitt Smith, were charged with criminal recklessness.
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Read more: Three Separate Shooting Incidents in Gary Overnight


AG: 'A Milestone in Restoring Public Trust'

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Attorney General Zoeller, Mayor Copeland
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland held a news conference at the mayor's office this morning to release an update on the Indiana Attorney General's civil prosecution of a racketeering lawsuit filed nearly a decade ago. Zoeller today turned over to the City of East Chicago over 331-thousand dollars, collected from former longtime Mayor Robert Pastrick and his co-defendants, Zoeller saying today's conclusion of this lawsuit regarding the so-called "sidewalks for votes" scheme marked 'a milestone in restoring public trust'. Pastrick served as mayor of East Chicago for more than thirty years.
Here is more information from today's news release from the Indiana Attorney General's office:
The distribution to the City of East Chicago facilitated by the Attorney General includes $145,416.70, the amount liquidated from Pastrick after the U.S. Bankruptcy Court ruled March 25 that his assets were not exempt from a separate federal court judgment in the civil racketeering case.
Zoeller also distributed to the City $186,250, the amount remaining from settlements and judgments paid by Pastrick’s co-defendants who were named in the Attorney General’s original lawsuit brought under RICO, the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations statute.
Zoelle said the money turned over to the city today was a partial payment toward the approximately $24 million squandered in the sidewalk paving scheme intended to influence the 1999 mayoral primary election. Zoeller announced the distribution today with current Mayor Anthony Copeland.
Starting with a State Board of Accounts audit that asked the Attorney General’s Office to recover the $24 million, then-Attorney General Steve Carter in 2004 filed suit against Pastrick and co-defendants in U.S. District Court under RICO seeking repayment and treble damages. The same year, Pastrick was defeated in a special election ordered by the Indiana Supreme Court when it found the 2003 mayoral election had been tainted by fraud. (It was through the intervention of the Attorney General’s Office in challenging the 2003 election that the results were overturned and a special election ordered.)
In the RICO lawsuit, a federal district court in June 2009 entered a judgment against Pastrick on every racketeering count the State alleged. The judgment was the first time a U.S. court had found that a municipal government – the Pastrick administration – was a corrupt enterprise under federal racketeering law.  In March 2010, U.S. District Court Judge James Moody ordered a treble damages award of $108 million against Pastrick. After Attorney General Zoeller started collection efforts through Rubin & Levin, a collection law firm, Pastrick filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition to avoid consequences of the judgment. Initially the ex-mayor claimed the judgment could be discharged, or avoided, through bankruptcy.
The State, represented by Attorney General Zoeller’s office, objected, contending Pastrick’s civil judgment could not be legally discharged through bankruptcy due to the underlying theft and statutory penalties imposed. The State filed a motion for partial summary judgment in U.S. Bankruptcy Court and ultimately, Pastrick conceded: On August 16, 2012, Pastrick filed an amended answer, admitting liability on one of the counts the State alleged – that the debt is not dischargeable – and consenting to an entry of judgment for the full amount. On March 25, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in South Bend ruled in the State’s favor and found that Pastrick can’t use bankruptcy to avoid the judgment.
The ruling by Judge Harry C. Dees marked the end of the State’s adversary proceeding in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. In the remaining case, under the court’s supervision, the bankruptcy trustee already had collected and sold for payment what portion remained of Pastrick’s assets that legally were considered non-exempt. The City of East Chicago and the State of Indiana were the only creditors. The State received the trustee’s distribution of $145,416.70 and Zoeller said the payment was turned over entirely to the city treasury, under the new management of current Mayor Copeland.
In litigating the original RICO suit, the Attorney General’s Office previously obtained judgments against or settlements with co-defendants of Pastrick who were political associates or contractors who benefited from Pastrick’s “sidewalks for votes” scheme. Zoeller also turned over the remaining unallocated funds paid by those co-defendants, $186,250 after legal expenses, to the City.

Read more: AG: 'A Milestone in Restoring Public Trust'


Taste of Care Tonight to Benefit TRIAD

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Prompt Ambulance will host the third annual Porter County Taste of Care event this evening (Thu Jun 06 2013), with proceeds to benefit Porter County Triad.  Volunteers from Triad will be in attendance along with Porter County Sheriff David Lain who will serve as one of the local celebrity judges voting on the Top Chefs as they sample dishes prepared by chefs from local health care communities.  "And I think it's interesting," Sheriff Lain said, that "people think of hospital food and nursing home food as bland, and I think what we're going to find is that it's anything but," and they'll be seeing "some fairly gourmet selections".
The event is 4:30 to 7:30 tonight at the Porter County Expo Center, and it's open to the public, five-dollar admission. UCAN will be landing their medical transport helicopter around 5pm, weather permitting, for attendees to tour.  For more information on TRIAD, visit
To hear more from Porter County Sheriff David Lain on the event visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Participating facilities:
Addison Pointe
Waters of Duneland
Avalon Springs
Life Care Center of the Willows
Life Care Center of Valparaiso
Brookdale Senior Living
Meals on Wheels VNA
Millers Senior Living
Residences at Deer Creek
Porter Regional Hospital
University Of Chicago UCAN

Read more: Taste of Care Tonight to Benefit TRIAD


Indiana Medicaid Reimbursement Rates Going Up

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence says the state will increase Medicaid reimbursement rates, starting this January, for the state’s health care providers who saw those rates drop three years ago as a cost-cutting measure. Indiana currently has 1-point-1 million Medicaid recipients. The 2010 reductions will be eliminated completely for providers on a number of services including dental, vision, medical transportation, lab and radiology, speech and hearing therapy, freestanding dialysis and medical supplies. Rates will be restored in part for other providers including hospitals, nursing facilities, home health care, immediate care and intellectual disability facilities.
“This decision is very important for our hospitals—it provides a more solid financial footing at this critical time given continued federal Medicare cuts,” said Doug Leonard, Indiana Hospital Association President. “This is even more significant considering hospitals in other states are facing even further Medicaid cuts while Indiana is able to reverse them.”

Read more: Indiana Medicaid Reimbursement Rates Going Up


Arrest in Valparaiso and Walkerton Exposure Cases

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Police have made an arrest in connection with two reports of a man exposing himself to female subjects in the Target parking lot in Valparaiso Saturday afternoon. Valparaiso Police learned of a similar recent report in Walkerton, about 34-miles away. A 37-year-old Knox man allegedly admitted to incidents in both cities. He was arrested by Walkerton Police and taken to Saint Joseph County Jail on the charge of Public Indecency, and additional Public Indecency charges in Porter County have been forwarded to the Porter County Prosecutors Office.

Read more: Arrest in Valparaiso and Walkerton Exposure Cases


Indiana Boater Seriously Injured

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Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a boat accident that sent a 68 year old Bedford man to the hospital with significant propeller trauma to both legs. Officials say the victim was boating with his 44 year old son at Monroe Reservoir when he attempted a left turn. For an unknown reason the boat cut hard to the left, causing the victim to be ejected from the boat. The victim was then struck by the rear of the boat, causing propeller strikes to both legs and his right arm. The son was able to stop the boat and rescue his father from the water before receiving assistance from fellow boaters to get back to the ramp. Neither man was wearing a life jacket on the boat.
The victim was transported by ambulance to IU Health Hospital in Bloomington before being flown to Methodist Hospital.
As more Hoosiers take to the water this summer, Indiana Conservation Officers encourage all boaters to follow recommended safe boating practices. This includes utilizing an engine kill switch cord. This is a small cord that runs from the ignition and is meant to be attached to the operator. In the event that the operator is ejected from the boat, the engine is immediately stopped, keeping the boat from running over the operator or crashing, unmanned, into shore. Although it cannot prevent all boating accidents, conservation officers say this small device, when worn properly, can prevent injury similar to what this victim sustained.

Read more: Indiana Boater Seriously Injured


IU Trustees Approve Tuition Increase

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Indiana University says students will be paying about one-and-three-quarters percent more, on average, for tuition and fees the next two academic years at IUN in Gary and their other campuses. IU also says they're continuing to move toward standardized tuition rates at their regional sites. In-state students at the main campus in Bloomington will pay about 176-dollars more for 2013-2014. The university says the newly-approved increases are the lowest at IU since the late 1970s .
More specifics from IU here:

Read more: IU Trustees Approve Tuition Increase


Groundbreaking in Portage

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belmont one
Portage officials gathered Wednesday for a groundbreaking at AmeriPlex at the Port for a new building that'll be known as The Belmont. Three existing companies in Portage already have plans to move in – Holladay Properties, Silvent North America and Falk PLI, and more than 19,000 square feet of space is still open for other tenants. Construction is expected to be complete this fall.
hollday merrillville
On a related note, in Lake County, the first pieces of pre-cast were installed at the Riley Building at AmeriPlex at the Crossroads in Merrillville. That building is the future home of Horizon Financial Management.
[Photos/Holladay Properties ]

Read more: Groundbreaking in Portage


Ind Natl Guard Promotes 1st African-American General

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Major General R. Martin Umbarger, the adjutant general of Indiana, has announced the selection of Colonel Wayne Black to assistant adjutant general. Officials say Colonel Black is the first African-American to hold the rank of brigadier general and first to hold a general officer rank in the history of the Indiana National Guard. A promotion ceremony will be held Saturday, July 13.
“Col. Black is a proven leader.  I have absolute trust and confidence that he will serve in this capacity with honor and distinction”, said Maj. Gen. Umbarger
A business graduate of The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina, Col. Black received a Master of Business Administration degree from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Master of Science in Strategic Studies from the Army War College.
After more than a decade on active duty, Col. Black rose to the position of plans officer of the Simulations and Wargaming Center at the Training and Doctrine Command of Fort Leavenworth, Kan. He joined the Indiana National Guard in 1996, serving much of his Citizen-Soldier career as a leader in the 139th Field Artillery Battalion in Crawfordsville, leading to command of the battalion from 2005 to 2008.
Black served in Afghanistan as the commander of the Regional Police Advisory Command - North, in Mazar-e-Sharif in 2008 to 2009. He also served in Operation Joint Endeavor as the chief of the joint visitors bureau of Task Force Eagle during the 38th Infantry Division deployment to Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2004 to 2005.
Black has served as a manufacturing supervisor for RR Donnelley in Crawfordsville, Ind. for the past 17 years and is directly responsible for 140 personnel and the performance and output of eight offset web presses, valued at approximately $50 million. He develops and manages an operating budget of approximately $15 million. 
“It is with great pride that we promote Col. Black, who brings with him a wealth of military and civilian experience, as the first African-American general officer in the Indiana National Guard,” said Umbarger.  “I am deeply appreciative of the support his wife, Symea, their three children, two grandchildren, and his civilian employer have given him throughout his career.” 
“It is a great honor to be selected to serve as a general officer in the Indiana National Guard.  The fact that I am the first African-American to serve in this capacity makes it truly special”, said Black.  “I want to thank Maj. Gen. Umbarger for his trust and confidence in my leadership abilities to service in this capacity.”
Col. Black currently serves as the construction and facilities management officer at Indiana National Guard Joint Force Headquarters in Indianapolis.

Read more: Ind Natl Guard Promotes 1st African-American General


Gas Prices Surge in the Region

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Gas experts say ongoing refinery issues in the Region and elsewhere lie at the root of high gas prices seen in northwest Indiana and the Great Lakes area. On Wednesday, Region motorists saw prices leap to $4.35 a gallon, and this morning GasBuddy-dot-com is showing prices up to 4.39 in Lake and Porter counties.  According to Triple-A's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, Indiana is one of a handful of states where a gallon of regular unleaded is averaging over four-dollars a gallon... the others being Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and also Hawaii and Alaska. The current average is the Gary Metropolitan Area is now at about $4.23, 15-cents higher than yesterday, and nearly forty-cents higher than a week ago.

Read more: Gas Prices Surge in the Region


Funeral Next Week for Mayor Clay

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Funeral arrangements are being prepared for former Gary Mayor Rudy Clay, who passed away this week at the age of 77 after battling prostate cancer. Officials say visitation will take place next week, Tuesday at the Genesis Convention Center in downtown Gary, and a funeral with elected representatives from state, county and local government and the Gary Police Department in full-dress uniform Wednesdaymorning, also at the Genesis center. Clay had four decades of public service across state, county and city government. He was mayor of Gary from 2006 to 2011.

Read more: Funeral Next Week for Mayor Clay


Additional Charges Against Gary Pair in Child Sex Case

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Two Gary residents facing child sex charges now facing additional charges. 29 year old Christopher Bour and 34 year old Natisha Hillard were each charged Wednesday in Hammond Federal Court in a superseding indictment with two additional counts of production of child pornography. Bour, who was charged in the initial indictment with one-count of purchase of a child, also was charged Wednesday with one additional count of possession of child pornography. Hillard was initially charged with one-count of sale of a child.
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Read more: Additional Charges Against Gary Pair in Child Sex Case


Griffith Man Charged with Punching His Pregnant Daughter

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A Griffith man has been charged with punching his pregnant daughter in the mouth on the same day she laid to rest her unborn child's father. According to court documents, Richard Metsch is charged with battery, resulting in bodily injury to a pregnant woman, and resisting law enforcement regarding the incident that occurred in his home on May 30th, in Griffith. Abigail Metsch suffered a busted lip as a result of her father's actions, who informed officers who arrived at the scene that her father had allegedly been smoking crack and drinking earlier in the day to self-medicate due to old injuries, and was upset that she would now have to live with them.
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Read more: Griffith Man Charged with Punching His Pregnant Daughter


Lake Co Prosecutor Collects $4.24 Million in April Child Support

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The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports an 11-point-eight percent increase in child support payment from April of 2012 to April 2013. Prosecutor Bernard Carter announced on Wednesday that the Child Support Division collected over four-point two-four million dollars in child support payments for April 2013, compared to almost three-point-eight million in April 2012. Carter says his office had collected almost 13-point -seven million dollars this year through April.
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Read more: Lake Co Prosecutor Collects $4.24 Million in April Child Support


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Region News Team
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Region News Team


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