Cedar Lake Chief No Longer Interim

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The Cedar Lake Town Council has removed “interim” from Police Chief Jerry Smith's title. Smith, a longtime Cedar Lake police officer and a former town councilman, had been serving as interim chief since former Chief Randall Majersky left the position last fall. Smith's appointment was unanimously approved recently by the town's police commission. Smith is a native of Cedar Lake, served in the Marine Corps, and joined the police force when he returned.

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Dangerous Rip Currents Expected

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The National Weather Service has issued a Beach Hazards statement for the Lake Michigan shoreline in the Region.  High waves and life-threatening rip currents are expected through this evening.  Meteorologists say strong north to northeast winds will gust to 30 to 35 mph this morning before diminishing into the afternoon. Waves of 6 to 9 ft with occasional larger waves are expected tol gradually subside through the evening. Officials say the winds and waves will create dangerous conditions at Lake Michigan beaches.
Officials say rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore...which occur most often at low spots or breaks in sandbars, and rip currents can sweep you out lakeward.
For updates and additional information from the National Weather Service:

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School Bus Crash Investigation Continues

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Investigators continue to look into a crash that injured more than fifty people, mostly middle and high school students, in northern Indiana this week. Officials say the chain-reaction crash involved four school buses near North Webster Wednesday. Most of the injuries were minor, but one of the bus drivers was flown to a Fort Wayne hospital.

Read more: School Bus Crash Investigation Continues


Much Work Ahead to Merge 911

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There's been a lot of debate on how to make it happen, but happen it must for Lake County to avoid losing millions in state grants for public safety, per a 2008 state law that mandates counties and municipal governments consolidate their E-911 services by the end of 2014. At a joint meeting of the 911 Commission, Lake County Commissioners and Lake County Council Thursday, the message was, it's got to be done, but there's still a lot to be done between now and then. In Lake County, that means the consolidation of seventeen E-911 networks.

Read more: Much Work Ahead to Merge 911


Ban Lifted on Gay Boy Scouts

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The 103-year-old Boy Scouts of America Thursday voted to lift the ban on gay youth. A ban on gay adult leaders remains. The President of the Calumet Council, which represents hundreds of troops in the Region, tells the Times today that members agreed with the vote. The vote came after a decade of debate within the Boy Scouts, 14-hundred members of the national council voting to end the ban.

Read more: Ban Lifted on Gay Boy Scouts


Car-Trailer Fire on SR 2

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Breaking News
Crews are responding to a semi fire on State Road 2 east of Interstate 65 in Lowell.  It reportedly involves a semi hauling cars. Listeners tells us some cars on a car-hauler are on fire.   Eastbound State Road 2 blocked just east of I-65.

Read more: Car-Trailer Fire on SR 2


IN Toll Rd Lane Restrictions Removed for Holiday Weekend

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Indiana Toll Rd Logo
GRANGER, Ind. – In anticipation of the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, ITR Concession Co. (the Indiana Toll Road) announces the removal of lane restrictions during this time to help ease heavy holiday traffic. As of Thursday morning, May 23, all lane restrictions have been removed.
Exceptions for the Memorial Day moratorium on construction projects are made for emergency situations, and work zone speed limits would be in effect if any emergencies occur.
“We want our travelers on the ITR to have a safe, worry-free trip, and opening all lanes this weekend allows drivers to concentrate on driving as opposed to construction,” said ITRCC CEO Fernando Redondo.
Current construction projects – including mill-and-fill, bridge painting and bridge improvements – will resume at 8 p.m. EST Tuesday, May 28.
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Read more: IN Toll Rd Lane Restrictions Removed for Holiday Weekend


Vote on NIRPC Plan Postponed Due to Concerns and Confusion

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Published reports say an open meeting on a public participation plan scheduled for today was postponed. The meeting was scheduled so the public can learn and comment on the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission's plans on a number activities, but there apparently was some confusion this morning over when the meeting was suppose to start, and what was being voted on. An advocacy group for disability rights, “Everybody Counts”, have raised concerns about the plan and advocates protested, carrying signs, which resulted in Portage Police officers being called out to the scene.
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Read more: Vote on NIRPC Plan Postponed Due to Concerns and Confusion


Four Individuals Face Fraud and Forgery Charges

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Four individuals from Illinois are facing two counts of fraud and one count of forgery for attempting to cash fraudulent checks at a couple of banks in Lake County on Tuesday. According to the probable cause affidavit, 29 year old David English admitted to devising a scheme to have a 24 year old female cash a check made payable to her from the business Sid Kamp, Inc. of Mokena, Illinois, which were fraudulent. Also involved with the scheme was a 24 year old man and his 36 year old sister, who was driving the vehicle that fled First Midwest Bank in Griffith, which was stopped by police after being contacted by a bank employee who became suspicious of the check being cash, as the employee had been aware of a similar incident at their Highland branch.
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Read more: Four Individuals Face Fraud and Forgery Charges


Minor Injuries After 3 Vehicle Crash in Porter County

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porter co sheriff dept
Two people were transported to a local hospital for minor injuries after a three-vehicle crash this morning in Union Township. Porter County Sheriffs Police Sgt. Larry LaFlower say the collision occurred a little after 7am near the railroad tracks, on County Road 475 West and 375 North, due to a pickup that rear ended a vehicle, which caused it strike another vehicle.
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Read more: Minor Injuries After 3 Vehicle Crash in Porter County


ISTEP + Testing Troubles Has Lawmakers Wanting Answers

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Lawmakers would like questions answered regarding the repeated troubles experienced in late April, early May, with the ISTEP + standardized test. While an exact date has yet to be set, the Legislative Council today agreed to call the test vendor, CTB/McGraw-Hill, to come before the General Assembly, and explain why the glitches occurred.
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Read more: ISTEP + Testing Troubles Has Lawmakers Wanting Answers


Beware Tornado Scams

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Indiana State Police are warning Hoosiers about scam artists who might try to take advantage of your generosity in the Oklahoma tornado tragedy. Citizens are cautioned to be skeptical of those going from door-to-door or making individual phone calls claiming to be collecting for tornado relief. If you are contacted by someone asking for donations, ask for credentials, what organization they represent, and their address. If you're approached and feel someone is trying to scam you police say try to get as much information as possible such as a name and description of the person and vehicle. Police say the best way to contribute to the relief efforts is to donate money and other needed articles through known legitimate organizations such as the American Red Cross or local churches.

Read more: Beware Tornado Scams


Pence Pushes for Federal Shield Law

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Gov Mike Pence
Today Governor Mike Pence sent a letter to leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, pushing for legislators to bring his proposed federal shield law up for a vote.  When Pence served as a US Representative from Indiana, he led multiple efforts to pass the Free Flow of Information Act to let journalists shield confidential sources from disclosure except in certain situations, such as when national security is threatened. Though there is no federal shield law, states have them, and Indiana's is considered one of the broader ones in the country. The Attorney General recently came under fire from both Democrats and Republicans for the department's seizure of reporters phone records, despite the Attorney General's claim that a very serious leak of classified information is involved.

Read more: Pence Pushes for Federal Shield Law


Semi Hits House

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In Newton County, sheriffs police are investigating an accident in which a semi ran into a house off of State Road 10 in Lake Village Wednesday. Authorities say just prior to the accident the driver apparently experienced health problems, started feeling light-headed and began to pull over. The semi left the roadway, struck a utility pole, then clipped some trees and the corner of a house, before coming to rest against a garage belonging to a neighbor. There were no injuries reported and no one was inside the home at the time, though police say one of the residents was mowing the lawn in a different area of the property. A gas leak at the residence caused a brief evacuation of the area. Newton County Ambulance and Lake Township Fire Department also responded.

Read more: Semi Hits House


Avoid Sedley Road

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Porter County Sheriff David Lain is asking motorists to avoid Sedley Road (County Road 475 West) near County Road 400 North in Union Township as crews continue to clear the scene of a three-vehicle crash that happened around 7-o'clock this morning.  Motorists are advised to avoid Sedley between US 30 and State Road 130. There were injuries, but the extent of those injuries is not known at this time.

Read more: Avoid Sedley Road


Child Found in Pool Dies

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In northern Indiana, Indiana Conservation officers say a young boy was pronounced dead after being found face down in a swimming pool in Columbia City. Authorities say the child was discovered by a relative who lives at the residence. Preliminary results from an autopsy Wednesday show the two-and-a-half-year-old child died from drowning. Just before discovering the victim in the water, the relative noticed the boy was not in the house and the back door leading to the pool area was open. This person officers say then walked out and noticed the victim in the pool. The incident is still under investigation.

Read more: Child Found in Pool Dies


Skyway Crash Fatal

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Authorities say a crash early this morning on the outbound Chicago Skyway was fatal. It happened just after 5 am, near 84th Street.  The eastbound Skyway is closed from the Dan Ryan to the Skyway Plaza.

Read more: Skyway Crash Fatal


Former Library Dir Working on Plea Deal

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Published reports say former East Chicago Public Library Director Manuel Montalvo is negotiating with federal attorneys on a plea deal. He was charged last fall with filing false income tax returns for two separate tax years. Today's Times reports the trial date has been moved to August.

Read more: Former Library Dir Working on Plea Deal


Road Work Lifted for Holiday

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indot memorial day
The Indiana Department of Transportation says all possible road work restrictions will be lifted beginning around noon on Friday, through early Tuesday morning, to allow drivers a safer and more efficient holiday travel weekend over the Memorial Day period.
Wherever possible, road restrictions will be removed. But some closures and restrictions will remain on larger projects that cannot be safely reopened to traffic for the weekend. Here are restrictions around the Region that will remain in place:
Lake County
- SR 152 (Indianapolis Blvd), Hammond - Nine Span Bridge closed over the IHB Rail Yard, for bridge replacement
- U.S. 12 (5th Ave), Gary – Lane restrictions in place between 3 miles west of I-65 and 1 mile east of I-65, for road reconstruction
LaPorte County
- U.S. 6, Kingsford Heights (just south of LaPorte) – U.S. 6 Bridge closed 2 miles east of the western U.S. 6 junction with U.S. 35 (just north of Meadowbrook Blvd.), for bridge replacement
Newton County
- SR 55, southwest of Rensselaer – SR 55 Bridge closed between SR 16 and SR 114, for bridge replacement
Porter County
- I-94, Porter County (near Chesterton) – Lane restrictions in both directions on bridge over Beam Street, just east of U.S. 20 exit, for bridge deck replacement
- I-94, Porter County (near Portage) - Lane restrictions in both directions on bridge 1 mile east of Toll Road ramp, for bridge deck replacement
St. Joseph County
- SR 23, South Bend – Road closed between the Five Points Intersection (Eddy St.) and Twyckenham Dr., for water main construction
- U.S. 20 Bypass, South Bend – Lane restrictions in both directions on the Bypass between the U.S. 20 exit and the Indiana Toll Road exit, for road resurfacing
- SR 933, Mishawaka – SR 933 (Lincolnway) Bridge over Baugo Creek closed between County Line Road (Ash) and Capital Avenue, for bridge replacement
INDOT says stay informed throughout the holiday weekend by liking the INDOT Northwest Facebook page or follow them on Twitter: @INDOTNorthwest

Read more: Road Work Lifted for Holiday


Gary Mayor Recognizes National EMS Week

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EMS Week Group Photo 2013
(Photo Courtesy of Gary Mayor's Office)
The Mayor of Gary on Wednesday assembled a host of Gary EMT and Fire Department staff at city hall recognizing EMS Week in the City of Gary. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says, “over the last two-years, the EMS Department has experienced some challenges based on some difficult decisions that had to be made, and never during the time of transition did their focus shift from serving the citizens of Gary. I applaud them for their commitment to this city and I wouldn't want to be in any other place in the time of an emergency.”
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Read more: Gary Mayor Recognizes National EMS Week


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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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