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Merit Board Member Resigns

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Lake County Sheriff John Buncich tells the Times today that a member of the Lake County Sheriff's Police Merit Board has resigned, following an arrest on misdemeanor charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in Crown Point Saturday night. Sheriff Buncich says 39-year-old Douglas J. Strayer of Crown Point had been on the board for a year and a half. The panel oversees disciplinary matters of Lake County police officers.
http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/crown-point/official-facing-owi-charge-resigns-from-sheriff-s-merit-board/article_0bd3db6b-f9e2-5ef5-8fd6-3a8b402a1e5a.html
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25 Names Being Read at Doughboy Ceremony

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Today is the final Friday of the month, the day of the Hobart Marine Corps League “Howlin' Mad Detachment Number 93” Doughboy ceremony – where the names of fallen soldiers are read out loud – 25 names will be read tonight. The public as always is invited to the service which starts at 5pm at the Hobart Doughboy statue, at 7th and Main.  Doughboy was a term used to describe U-S infantrymen of the American Expeditionary Force during World War One.
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Maple City Grand Prix Begins

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Northwest Indiana is hosting professional boat races this weekend. The inaugural Maple City Grand Prix in La Porte features three days of racing on Stone Lake, a 160-acre inland lake, starting today. Boats of the F1 PROP Tour are described as the world's fastest tunnel boats, reaching speeds of over 100 miles-per-hour as they switch directions, and handle left and right-hand turns.
Photo::  https://www.facebook.com/MapleCityGrandPrix
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Indiana Comic Con Coming in March

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Indiana is getting its own Comic Con. Florida-based Action3 Events, the promoters behind similar events in Tampa Bay, Orlando, and Nashville, are bringing a three-day convention featuring 150 booths of comic book exhibitors, magazines, toys, games, Star Wars, Star Trek and more to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis March 14, 15 and 16, 2014 – more info at www.indianacomiccon.com
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Former Sheriff Wants Apology from Portage Mayor

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The former sheriff of Lake County wants the current mayor of Portage to apologize. Published reports say Roy Dominguez, a board member of Everybody Counts, sent Mayor James Snyder a letter, saying it was "un-American" and "uncalled for" for the mayor to call Portage Police out to last week's NIRPC meeting, where members of the advocacy group for disability rights arrived carrying protest signs, which resulted in officers being called out to the scene. Snyder says he doesn't intend to respond to the letter, and issued a statement that, among other things, said the people of Portage have elected him to keep them safe and take preventative measures when necessary.
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Lightning Sparks Schererville Fire

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No reports of injuries in a fire in Schererville believed to have started from a lightning strike. Several area departments were on scene for hours Thursday, after fire crews got the call around 3 in the afternoon to a condominium building on West Joliet Street. Joliet from the junction to US 30 was closed off to traffic into the evening hours. The fire reportedly caused the water pipes to burst.
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Charges in Merrillville Home Invasion

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Police say a 20-year-old Hammond man is in custody in connection with a home invasion over the weekend in Merrillville in which five masked men are believed to have entered a home in the 74-hundred block of Bigger Street around 9-o'clock Sunday night. Reports say charges of armed robbery, burglary, burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, and criminal confinement have been filed, and the investigation continues. Authorities say the victims' credit and debit cards were allegedly used to withdraw cash, and jewelry and other personal items were stolen.
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Chiefs Choose Iowa Official for 911

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[Photo provided/Times/Quad-City Times]
Lake County police and fire chiefs are recommending a man with experience in E-911 consolidations elsewhere in the midwest to lead Lake County's efforts to make it happen by the end of next year. 50-year-old Brian Hitchcock, a Minnesota native, got the unanimous nod from law enforcement leaders to be the new E-911 director – their choice still has to be approved by county officials. He'll be facing the task of consolidating the E-911 services of seventeen city, town and county law enforcement agencies by the end of 2014 –as mandated by state law – to prevent the county from losing millions in public safety dollars from the state. The former director resigned three months ago.  Since 2008, Hitchcock has been working in Iowa as director for the Davenport Emergency Communications Center, where he helped guide consolidation of E-911 services for 30 public safety agencies in the Quad Cities area.
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Foreclosure Sales Down

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More good news for the housing market: Foreclosure sales have reached their lowest level in five years, down to about 21-percent during the first quarter of 2013, according to RealtyTrac. Earlier this week, we spoke to Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors CEO Peter Novak, Jr, about some recent numbers in the Region housing market... including 22 months of consecutive growth. But Novak says distressed sales, like foreclosures, impact the local median selling price... so even though foreclosures have fallen, from more than forty-percent of all home sales in the U-S four years ago, there's still a ways to go. Experts say foreclosures were averaging around five-percent of all sales around 2005, before the housing bubble burst. You can hear more of our conversation with Peter Novak Jr online at News Audio on Demand here at our website....

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Ruth Heinold, 1919-2013

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Funeral services are Saturday in LaCrosse for Ruth Heinold of Francesville, formerly of Kouts. Heinold served as a secretary for Heinold Elevator in both Kouts and at the Kingsbury Poultry Plant. Radio One Communications founder Uncle Len Ellis says Heinold was the very first advertiser on the air with him in 1964. Heinold, who passed away Tuesday, was also a longtime volunteer for the American Red Cross of Porter County. Her husband of 51 years preceded her in death in 1991. Ruth Heinold was 93.
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Pence to Attend Council of Great Lakes Governors

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Indiana's Governor and First Lady will be spending weekend in northern Michigan, not to enjoy the Wolverine State's majestic beauty, but to attend a leadership summit. Governor Mike Pence and his wife Karen will travel tomorrow to Mackinac Island for the 2013 Council of Great Lakes Governors. On Saturday morning, Governor Pence is scheduled speak on strengthening the Great Lakes region in the global economy and attend multiple sessions and roundtables relating to advancing regional priorities before heading back to the Hoosier state Sunday.
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Director of MC Animal Shelter Charged with Forgery and Theft

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The Director of Shelter Operations at the Michiana Humane Society and SPCA is charged with felony forgery and theft for allegedly embezzling over 100-thousand dollars from the animal shelter that relies strictly on donations. According to court documents, 41 year old Jennifer Westphal is accused of writing and cashing checks from the shelter for various amounts between January 2007 through April of this year.
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Residents Displaced After Schererville Condominium Fire

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A lightning strike reportedly caused a structure fire at a condominium in the 200 block of West Joliet Street. The fire caused Joliet, from the junction to US 30, to be closed off to traffic for much of early afternoon and into the evening hours. The Times reports the fire began around 3pm at the complex, which houses 24 units, and that a total of 31 residents were displaced, after lightning struck the roof, destroying the second and third floors. No further information is available at this time.
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NB Tri-State Closed at Bishop Ford Due to Bad Crash

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A multi-vehicle crash involving several semis and a separate jackknifed semi has closed all lanes northbound on the Tri-State (294/80) between the Bishop Ford (I-80/94) and the Thornton Quarry.  I-DOT is reporting solid congestion and at least a two hour backup.  westbound traffic on 80/94 is backed up to around Kennedy Avenue.  Traffic tipsters are reporter a gaper's backup from about the Dixie Highway to the quarry.
WB Borman backup 05-30-13
Traffic backed-up westbound I-80/94 due to multi-vehicle crash northbound Tri-State just before Thornton Quarry.
(photo from INDOT)
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Joliet from the Junction to 30 in Shererville Closed Due to Fire

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Traffic-Alert
Schererville Police report Joliet from the junction to US 30 is closed off to traffic and most likely will stay that way for the next couple hours as crews as reportedly dealing with a structure fire. Authorities says crews have been on scene for the last several hours. No further information available at this time.
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IN Leaders Urge Congress to Pass Immigration Reform

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FRANKFORT — With members of Congress home for the week and the full Senate expected to begin debating the immigration reform bill in early June, Indiana faith, law enforcement and business leaders came together this afternoon for a roundtable discussion on the urgency and importance of commonsense immigration reform.
 
At the roundtable debate sponsored by the Bibles, Badges and Business for Immigration Reform network, influential leaders gathered to highlight the importance of immigration reform for local faith communities, law enforcement officers and businesses.
 
The following quotes can be attributed to speakers at the event:
 
Susan Brouillette, Program Director for Healthy Families and Sustainable Communities, Lafayette Urban Ministry
“It is important to keep in mind that comprehensive immigration reform addresses legal as well as illegal immigration and poses job creation opportunities through investment and start-up businesses to jump start our economy and maintain our competitive advantage around the world.”
 
Rev. Joshua Burkholder, Pastor, St. Paul's Lutheran Church:
“Regardless of creed, all peoples of faith believe that there is a central call for core values, respect, and human dignities—these are things which we are all entitled to which immigration reform will help immigrants achieve.”
 
Levi J. Huffman, Partner/Owner, Huffman & Hawbaker Farms
“By fixing the immigration system, Indiana has an opportunity to increase its agricultural output, become a major exporter, and strengthen its economy.  Also, with more documentation and reform, food safety, a high priority in this country, can be better ensured.”
 
Susan Tharp, County Extension Director, Purdue Extension Network of Clinton County:
"The bottom line is that we need human capital that is more than laborers to build our community. People living in the shadows cannot live up to their full potential as contributing members of our communities."
 
Greg Zoeller, Attorney General, State of Indiana
“To those who say that this immigration effort undermines the rule of law, the rule of law has been undermined for the past thirty years by the Federal government’s refusal to take a stand on this issue. We must hold our representatives accountable for the current mess and make them vote between this possible immigration solution and the broken status quo.”
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Gracie's TLC Operators Charged with Abuse of Residents

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The Lake County Prosecutor's Office has charged the operators of Gracie's Tender Loving Care in Gary with abusing and neglecting residents. Gary Police Corp. Gabrielle King says 40 year old Gracie Hathaway and Eldon Johnson both of Gary, are accused of illegally operating four group homes and each face eight felony charges, including neglect of a dependant, criminal confinement, and battery. Corp. King says, according to the affidavit, the people inside of these homes were locked inside, left alone, and stunned with stun-guns, as well as taking money from the residents and just giving them a small stipend to live off of. Corp King says, at last check, Hathaway and Johnson remain at-large.
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Thousands Without Power in NW Indiana

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NIPSCO's Outage map is reporting many customers without power at this time most likely due to the severe thunderstorms that rolled through the region this afternoon. At last check, almost one-thousand customers are without power in the Munster area, almost 900 in the Hammond area, and just over 50 in Portage. While an exact cause has yet to be determined, crews have been assigned or are in the process of being assigned, with restoration times anticipated sometime this evening. For more information visit http://www.nipscooutages.com/WSSNisourceOutageMap/outagemap.html?action=city&&reloaded=true
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Davenport Man Could Possibly Be Named New E-911 Director

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The current E-911 Director of Davenport, Iowa, has been unanimously approved today by Lake County police and fire chiefs to possibly become Lake County's new E-911 director. The Times reports Brian Hitchcock could be named director during a June 11th meeting of the Lake County Council. If named, Hitchcock faces the task of consolidating the 911 services of seventeen city, town and county law enforcement agencies by the end of next year –as mandated by state law – or face losing millions in public safety dollars from the state. The former director resigned at the end of February.
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IN SOS Moving to Electronic Reminders for Business

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Secretary of State
INDIANAPOLIS (May 30, 2013) – Secretary of State Connie Lawson today announced technology upgrades to her office’s customer services. Secretary Lawson launched an online tool to allow Hoosier businesses to receive e-mail notices when it is time to file business entity reports. All Indiana businesses are encouraged to update their e-mail address with her office immediately. The Secretary of State’s office is in the process of phasing out paper reminders for business entity reports and moving to e-mail notifications. This change may save as much as $100,000 a year, allowing Indiana to continue to have some of the lowest business filing fees in the country.

“Your Secretary of State’s office has been on the leading edge of smart government services online, and this upgrade is overdue,” said Secretary Lawson. “Moving to e-mail notifications is the next step in modernizing our system and keeping fees low.”

All businesses are required to file a Business Entity Report with the Secretary of State’s office. Currently, the Secretary of State’s office sends out a paper reminder when a business entity report is due. Starting January 1, 2014, e-mail reminders will replace paper reminder. Businesses that wish to continue receiving reminders to file their report should update their e-mail address immediately at www.in.gov/sos.

“Indiana was one of the first states to allow businesses to register and file their business entity reports online,” said Secretary Lawson. “Former Secretaries Sue Anne Gilroy and Todd Rokita brought this office light years ahead of other states and today’s launch continues that tradition.”
For-Profit Corporations and Limited Liability Companies (domestic and foreign) are required to file biennial reports.  The filing fee is $30.00 and the report is due during the month the entity was formed.  Nonprofit Corporations (domestic and foreign) are required to file annual reports.  The filing fee is $10.00 and the report is due during the month the entity was formed. Failure to pay a business entity report will result in the business being administratively dissolved or revoked.

All business entity reports may be filed online at www.in.gov/sos/business/3672.htm. By filing online you will receive a discounted filing fee.
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