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New State Poll Shows Hoosiers Support Immigration Reform

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.— As the Senate takes up debate this week on the bipartisan immigration reform bill, Harper Polling released the results of a new state poll showing overwhelming voter support for the legislation. During a press call today, state leaders and supporters of immigration reform discussed how the new poll indicates voters in Indiana are ready for a commonsense solution to the country’s broken immigration system that includes a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.
The poll was sponsored by the Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform, three organizations who represent the broad support for immigration reform from across the political spectrum.
“The results of this statewide poll should be yet another indication to our elected officials in Washington that their constituents want, and are ready for, a real and lasting solution to mend our broken immigration system,” said Mayor Tom Henry of Fort Wayne. “Comprehensive immigration reform is one of the rare issues that is both good politics and good policy. There is bipartisan support for the Senate bill that includes a path to citizenship.”
According to the poll, voters in Indiana support the Gang of Eight bill by large margins. Moreover, the results show that there is a genuine imperative for Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly to support the bill as constituents said they are more likely to vote for an elected official who votes for reform.
“The immigration reform bill currently in the U.S. Senate is a much needed common sense approach toward strengthening and reforming federal laws in a way that benefits our businesses,” said John Livengood, president the of Indiana Restaurant Association. “Indiana is best served by an economy that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. Immigrants play an important economic role as workers and taxpayers.”
Highlights of the findings include:
·         69% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform legislation being debated in Washington;

·         62% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship;
·         47% of those polled are more likely to vote for an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship. 

·         92% of those polled said it was very or somewhat important that the U.S. fix its immigration system this year.

·         Of those polled, 44% identified as Republicans, 33% as Democrats, and 23% as Independents.

Full results of the poll can be found here  https://www.dropbox.com/s/c5fma4mb1of7zfs/Indiana%20Immigration%20Poll%20Toplines.pdf.
The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) telephone surveys of likely voters were conducted between June 2-10, 2013.  The poll has a minimum sample size of 500 respondents and a margin of error of less than 5%.
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Read more: New State Poll Shows Hoosiers Support Immigration Reform

 

Storm Cleanup Continues

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WP 001294 WinCE
[Photo/Roxanne Collins]
Cleanup continues today around the Region after severe storms hit the area Wednesday night.
It was just two years ago, almost to the day, that Route 2 was shut down between Lowell and Hebron after powerful storms came through and toppled huge transformer towers just east of I-65.   Today, the Indiana Department of Transportation says State Road 2 between Hebron and Lowell could be closed up to three days because of downed power lines east of the interstate after last night's severe weather.   There is also a lot of debris in the Crown Point/Lakes of Four Seasons area. INDOT crews are patrolling state roads around the northwest Indiana district looking for high water and debris. Officials say it takes just inches to float a car and the results could be deadly – they're urging Region motorists to stay away from high water.
Today the National Weather Service was considering whether or not to visit the Lakes of the Four Seasons/Winfield area, to survey damage from last night's storm. A roof blew off a home in the 11-hundred block of Sunnyslope Drive. No injuries reported. A number of trees were down along 109th Street not far from the entrance to Lakes of the Four Seasons.
The National Weather Service in Northern Indiana is gathering reports on wind damage, in particular from an area from Medaryville in Pulaski County here in northwest Indiana all the way east to Ohio. Golf ball size hail was reported near Winamac around 7:30 Eastern Time last night, lasting for a couple minutes, with minor damage to vehicles, according to a spotter report.
NIPSCO crews have been working around the clock to restore electricity. Northern Indiana Public Service Company says as many as 44-thousand customers lost power system-wide. That number was down to about 98-hundred early today this morning, with one of the hardest hit areas being Lake County with outages due to broken poles, downed wire and other storm-related damage from strong winds, lightning, and some isolated hail. Hardest hit communities include Crown Point, Lowell, Gary and Merrillville, and the tri-town area of St. John/Schererville/dyer, also Hebron and Valparaiso in Porter County.
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Route 51 Blocked by Train

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Traffic-Advisory
In the Hobart/Merrillville area, Route 51 north of 73rd Avenue near Ainsworth was blocked by a train. Listeners have been using County Line and Randolph as alternates.  We got word the road may be blocked until about noon.
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Route 2 Could Be Closed for 3 Days

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The Indiana Department of Transportation says a section of State Road 2 could be closed for three days.  Lanes are blocked in both directions between I-65 in Lowell and US 231in Hebron with downed power lines after last night's storms. Tipsters have reported to us large towers being down along Route 2 just east of the I-65 interchange. 
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44,000 Lose Power in Storms

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NIPSCO crews have been working around the clock to restore electricity to Region residents who lost power in last night's strong storms. Northern Indiana Public Service Company says as many as 44-thousand customers lost power system-wide. One of the hardest hit areas was Lake County, including areas of Crown Point, Lowell, Gary, and Merrillville with outages due to broken poles, downed wire and other storm-related damage from strong winds, lightning, and some isolated hail.  There are also outages in Hebron in Porter County; tipsters have reported to us that large towers were down on State Road 2 just east of the Interstate 65 interchange.
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Severe Thunderstorms and High Winds Move Through Region

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Severe thunderstorms moved through the Region earlier this evening with high winds toppling several large trees and power lines throughout the Region. According to the National Weather Service , a trained spotter clocked 80 mph winds in Griffith around 6:45 p.m. Social media sites were reporting several large tree branches down in Crown point due to thunderstorm wind damage.

The Times is reporting heavy winds also reportedly blew the roof off of a home in the 1100 block of Sunnyslope Drive in Lakes of the Four Seasons in Crown Point. There were no reports of injuries. Additionally, Fire Chief Graham Federico of the Lakes of the Four Seasons Volunteer Fire Department told the Times that about a quarter mile of 109th Avenue west of the subdivision's entrance was blocked off due to trees that were blown down. That stretch of 109th Avenue will reportedly remain closed until Thursday morning according to the article.

Emergency Management officials also report heavy tree damage near 108th and 109th Avenues near Cline Avenue in Crown Point. In addition, high tension power lines closed State Road 2 east of I-65 as several high tension towers blew down in the storm.

NIPSCO reported several power outages affecting over 34,000 customers mainly in Crown Point, Schererville, Merrillville and Lowell areas with a little over 14,000 customers without power in Crown Point.

The severe storms are also blamed for a semi trailer that jackknifed while traveling westbound on the Borman (I-80/90) just east of Kennedy Avenue around 6:50 p.m. INDOT reported that the accident block three lanes between Cline Avenue and Kennedy Avenue.

The National Weather Service reports that 2 to 3 inches of rain has fallen in the Region already with more heavy rainfall expected in some areas. As a result a Flash Flood Warning remains in affect for persons in southern Lake, Newton and Jasper counties are under a flash flood warning until 2:30 a.m.
Time line and storm damage reported to the National Weather Service office:
0645 PM 1" HAIL GRIFFITH 41.52N 87.42W
REPORTED BY TRAINED SPOTTER
0645 PM HAIL 3 SSW MUNSTER 41.51N 87.52W

0653 PM TSTM WND DMG CROWN POINT 41.42N 87.36W
LARGE TREE BRANCHES DOWN. RELAYED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
0655 PM TSTM WND DMG 6 SE MERRILLVILLE 41.42N 87.24W
SEVERAL TREES UPROOTED AND LARGE BRANCHES DOWN. RELAYED VIA SOCIAL MEDIA.
0720 PM TSTM WND GST 60mph VALPARAISO 41.48N 87.05W
LASTED ABOUT 5 MINUTES REPORTED BY STORM SPOTTER
0732 PM TSTM WND DMG CROWN POINT 41.42N 87.36W
HOUSE ROOF BLOWN OFF REPORTED BY AMATEUR RADIO OPERATOR
0805 PM HEAVY RAIN .94 inch CROWN POINT 41.44N 87.35W
0.34 inches in past 30 minutes
0822 PM TSTM WND GST 63 mph 2 SSW LOWELL 41.27N 87.43W
REPORTED BY THE NATONAL WEATHER SERVICE
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Highland PD: Residents Clear Grates From Storm Sewer

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Highland Police
The Highland Police Department says due to the heavy rains, high winds and lightning that are expected in the area soon, that if you have a grate over a storm sewer in front of your house, please make sure it is open and free of debris or leaves in order to prevent flooding. Your help is appreciated.
Meantime, keep apprised of weather updates, and be prepared to seek shelter if conditions worsen. Winds of up to 60 mph are possible, so make sure items in your yard are secured and pets are sheltered.
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IDOT Offers Severe WX Driving Tips

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idot
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) would like to warn of a potentially dangerous line of storms moving through the Midwest that could impact much of the state Wednesday evening and especially Northern Illinois counties.
The storms are expected to bring heavy rains, large hail and strong winds until midnight.  Flash flood watches are in place throughout portions of the state, with flooding possible in low-lying areas, river streams and viaducts.
IDOT is receiving regular updates from the National Weather Service (NWS) and is preparing all districts throughout the state for the possibility of severe weather.  IDOT will continue to coordinate with the NWS and other entities to provide information on pre-storm information as well as post storm response. 
Motorists are urged to take precautions on the roads, as storms could potentially impact driving conditions. 
Severe Weather Driving Tips:
·         Do not drive through flooded areas
  • Be aware of vehicles around you
  • High winds are most problematic for drivers of trucks, buses, recreational vehicles, campers, and drivers who are towing trailers
  • Turn on your headlights (low beams) and slow down
  • Allow extra distance for braking
·         If your car stalls in high water, do not attempt to push it out; seek higher ground

For a list of road closures, please visit http://www.dot.il.gov/road/roadClosures.htm. For real-time updates on today's storms, please visithttp://Ready.Illinois.gov /.
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DOJ Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Settled Against Griffith

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The Justice Department issued a press release on Tuesday saying it has entered into a consent decree with Griffith that, if approved, will resolve allegations that the Griffith Police Department discriminated against Marlene Starcevich based on her sex, a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. According to the complaint, the department failed to assign Starcevich, a 22 year veteran, and the only female officer in the history of the Griffith Police Department, to a shift commander position because of her sex when a shift commander position became available in July of 2010. Starcevich has since been assigned to shift commander duties, and under the terms of the consent decree, the police department must also pay her five-thousand dollars in monetary relief, and the town must revise its equal employment opportunity polices to protect its employees from discrimination and conduct training of its personnel regarding these policies.
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Read more: DOJ Sex Discrimination Lawsuit Settled Against Griffith

 

Donnelly Votes Against Levin Amendment Which Passes 17-9

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Washington, D.C. –Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after voting in the full Senate Armed Services Committee National Defense Authorization Act mark-up on the issue of sexual assault prevention in the military.  Senator Donnelly voted against Chairman Levin’s amendment that removed and replaced existing language sponsored by Senator Gillibrand regarding the chain of command.  Chairman Levin’s amendment passed the Committee, 17 to 9.
“Two weeks ago, I attended a Clothesline Project event at the AmVets in Indianapolis, where dozens of Hoosier survivors of military sexual assault ‘aired’ their stories on t-shirts strung around the room.  Hearing and reading their stories of violent assault, of a lack of justice served, or the retaliation they faced from fellow soldiers was heartbreaking.
“I have concluded that only a significant, serious change to the status quo will lead to a truly ‘zero tolerance’ policy.  Survivors of sexual assault need to regain trust in the United States Armed Forces.
“I am thankful for Chairman Levin’s work on this issue, and I think his proposal is strong and moves us significantly in the right direction.  It goes a long way toward dramatically improving the current system.  Our military and its leaders are working hard to end this scourge against our servicemembers.  However, in light of the seriousness and size of this problem, I supported Senator Gillibrand’s proposal in the mark.  I think this is the right way to go as we seek to enact a zero tolerance policy for sexual assault in the Armed Forces.”
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Highland Woman Gets 2 Years in Prison for Assisting Killer

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A Highland woman today was sentenced to two years in prison for her role in the death of man her boyfriend killed in 2009. The Lake County Prosecutor's Office reports Andrea Michelle Elliott was charged with felony assisting a criminal, for helping Calvin Peacock bury the body of Kevin Sperry, and also harboring and concealing Peacock. Peacock was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in Novermber 2012, after pleading guilty to killing Sperry with a pickaxe during an argument at Peacock's home in October of 2009.
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IN General Assembly Overrides Veto of HEA 1546

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Members of the Indiana House of Representatives voted 68 to 23 today to override Governor Mike Pence's veto of House Enrolled Act 1546, a measure that retroactively legalizes a tax increase and the revenues collected in Pulaski and Jackson Counties. The Governor's Communications Director says Governor Pence regrets the veto was not upheld and stands by his decision, adding he believes that when Hoosiers pay taxes that are not owed, they should be offered relief. House Speaker Brian Bosma says while they appreciate the concerns expressed by the Governor, the issue demanded an immediate solution. According to the press release, the veto would have required over one-thousand employers in the two counties to make mid-year adjustments to their payrolls. In addition, since the two counties need to pay for the ongoing costs of operating the jail, losing funding could put jail operations in jeopardy.
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Body of Army Spc. AJ Roach Jr. to Return to NW IN Tomorrow

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AJ Roach Jr
(Photo Courtesy of obitsforlife.com)
The body of a 20 year old Army Specialist who was killed Friday in a crash while serving at Fort Campbell in Kentucky will be returned to Northwest Indiana tomorrow. Alan Jon (AJ) Roach Jr. of Nashville, Tennessee, formerly of Crown Point, is scheduled to arrive at Chicago's O'Hare Aiport around 8:30am. The Indiana Patriot Guard will then pick up the escort with Geisen's  Funeral Home at 61st Avenue and Broadway, scheduled around 10am, but the actual time of arrival could vary due to traffic. Geisen's Funeral Home says visitation for Roach will take place Thursday, from 2pm-8pm, with the funeral service scheduled for 10am Friday, at the funeral home in Crown Point.  Interment will be at St. Mary's Cemetery in Crown Point.
In memory of A.J., memorial donations may be given to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.
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Hoosiers Should Be Vigilant of Severe Weather Tonight

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The Indiana Department of Homeland Security is reminding Hoosiers to be aware of the weather tonight as there is a possibility for severe weather and tornadoes.
The National Storm Prediction Center says there is a high risk for severe weather in northern Indiana tonight, while the rest of the state is under a moderate or slight risk. The “high risk” designation is not used often, and means patterns are developing which could cause extreme weather. The National Weather Service says these storms may bring widespread damaging winds, large hail, dangerous lightning, tornadoes, and torrential rainfall producing flash flooding.
Hoosiers should remain aware of changing weather conditions, and assess the need to travel while severe weather is in the area. Consider bringing any outdoor furniture or items inside.

Power Outages
With weather systems like this, it's not uncommon to see widespread power outages. While utility companies will be working to quickly repair any outages, storms of this size and magnitude often make it very difficult to restore power immediately.
Take the time now to charge cell phones, laptops and other devices, so that if power goes out, electronic devices will have a maximum charge.

Essential supplies to gather ahead of time in case utilities are disrupted:
  • Food and water for three days (includes a minimum of one gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Battery operated or hand crank all hazards radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Special items (baby formula, insulin, medications)
For more information visit GetPrepared.IN.gov.
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Police Investigating Double Homicide in Gary

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Gary PD
In Gary, police are investigating a double homicide. Gary Police Corporal Gabrielle King says two cousins were found shot to death inside a home in Glen Park early this morning in the 49 hundred block of Washington Street. King says officers were dispatched to the scene around 5:30 this morning, for a call of shots fired, and found 18 year old Fredrick Stubbs and 19 year old Dontrell Wilson unresponsive in the bedroom of the residence. Anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact Gary Police Detective James Bond at (219) 881-7300 Ext 3018.
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La Porte Homicide Autopsy Results Released

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La Porte County Coroner John Sullivan says it was one of the “most disturbing scenes” he has ever seen in many years as coroner as he reported today on autopsy results regarding the death of 48-year-old Kathy Jemiolo, whose body was found inside her home on “E” Street in La Porte early Tuesday.  Sullivan said the cause of death was multiple blunt force and sharp force trauma-type injuries.  Sullivan said the blunt force injuries to the head were from a baseball bat and sharp force injuries were inflicted by a knife. The autopsy was conducted by a forensic scientist at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center in Mishawaka.   La Porte Police announced the woman's husband, 60-year-old Joseph Jemiolo was taken into custody early Tuesday on a preliminary charge of murder. Authorities say Jemiolo served prison time on a manslaughter-related conviction several years ago in connection with the shooting death of his then-wife Nancy Jemiolo in 1978 on the southeast side of La Porte.
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Read more: La Porte Homicide Autopsy Results Released

   

Police Investigate Several Theft Reports in PC

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Porter County Sheriffs Police are reminding residents to lock their doors – cars, homes, garages – after a high number of thefts were reported this past weekend in unincorporated areas around the northern half of the county. Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says thefts ranged from a personal watercraft ... to an insulin delivery outside a home ... to plastic outdoor furniture ... to items taken from unlocked vehicles.  Sgt. LaFlower says there were thefts in Jackson, Liberty, Pine, Portage and Union townships, and overall the thefts were mainly reported from about Friday to Sunday.  Residents are also asked to call police if they see any suspicious persons or activity in the area.
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Train Collides With Farm Vehicle

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Authorities say an Amtrak train that left Indianapolis this morning heading for Chicago collided with a farm vehicle hauling at least a-thousand gallons of anhydrous ammonia in White County today, just west of Monon, and just a couple miles north of State Road 16. White County Emergency Management Director Dean Mullens says it's possible there was leak on impact, but the tank is upright and has been stabilized. None of the more than eighty passengers on the train was said to be hurt; officials say the driver of the farm tractor and the train engineer were transported for minor injuries. Mullens says the train passengers were taken to the Monon Fire Department by school bus after the collision, and they have since left by bus for Chicago.
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Severe Weather Concern for the Region

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Valparaiso University Meteorology Professor Dr. Bart Wolf, who's currently on his second storm-chasing trip this summer, talked to us today from Rapid City, South Dakota, about concern over severe weather back here at home.  Dr. Wolf says local conditions and those accompanying a system moving across the country are "kind of setting the table there for one of the more potent risks we've seen in some time for Northwest Indiana." Dr. Wolf says there's a pretty significant risk especially of damaging straight-line winds,especially this evening into tonight.
To hear our interview with Dr. Bart Wolf this morning, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
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Severe Weather, Heavy Rain Possible

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lightning
The National Weather Service says widespread severe weather is expected from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic today [ Wednesday ], with primary threats being large hail and damaging wind gusts. In addition to the severe weather, flooding will be possible as heavy rainfall is expected with the storms that develop and move into these areas.
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
Photo: Multiple cloud-to-ground and cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes during night-time. Observed during night-time thunderstorm.
Image ID: nssl0010, NOAA's National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL) Collection
Photographer: C. Clark
Credit: NOAA Photo Library, NOAA Central Library; OAR/ERL/National Severe Storms Laboratory (NSSL)

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