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Rensselaer Man Missing Since April 15th

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Police in Rensselaer are asking anyone with information regarding a missing 26 year old with a past history of drug use to please contact their department. Seth Rusk reportedly went to start a new job in Francesville around 4:30 in the morning on April 15th, but never arrived. On April 16th, police received information that the missing man's cell phone was in the Merrillville area, and it was later located by authorities near a cell tower a mile west of East 84th Street. Rusk is described as a white male, around six-feet tall, with blond hair, blue eyes, tattoos on both arms, and was last seen driving a white 2001 Chevy Cavalier with a paper plate on it.
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Sunday House Fire in LaPorte Under Investigation

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LaPorte PD
The cause of a fire in the city of LaPorte Sunday afternoon remains under investigation. The LaPorte Police Department reports crews responded to the fire, in the 800 block of Madison Street, at 2:09, and upon arrival observed black smoke coming from an upstairs apartment window. Police say the residents returned home while the fire department was extinguishing the blaze, who reported they had left at approximately 1:50pm and everything was fine at that time.
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Investigation Continues into Jasper County Bomb Threat

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An investigation continues after a bomb threat this morning at a manufacturing plant located east of Rensselaer. The Jasper County County Sheriff's Office reports a search of the facility, using bomb detection dogs, met with negative results and employees were allowed to re-enter and resume normal operations by 9:50am, followed by the re-opening of State Road 114 which had been shutdown, and Amtrak and C-S-X Railroad were then allowed to resume operations, which had been interfered with. Authorities were notified of a bomb threat at approximately 5am, and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Matt Myers of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
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Hammond Investigates 6th Fire

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Another fire has been reported east of downtown Hammond, where officials have been investigating a series of five suspicious fires that broke out within walking distance of each other in about a week's time early this month. Around 5:30 Saturday morning fire crews responded to a former auto repair shop in the 600 block of Sibley. No reports of injuries. The other fires broke out on Sibley, Erie and State Street. Hammond fire officials recently canvassed the neighborhood handing out fliers asking for the public's help.
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Notre Dame Study: Depression is Contagious

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Notre Dame researchers found that depression can be contagious. In a study of over 100 college students, scientists found that students assigned negative roommates quickly became depressed themselves. But the study also found those paired with positive roommates adopted their cheery attitude. The findings could lead to new treatments for depression and anxiety.
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Record Flooding in Illinois, More Rain in Forecast

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Flood warnings continue along the Kankakee and Iroquois Rivers in Northwest Indiana, but river levels locally are not near the record heights being seen in the Midwest, even just across the state line. Cities along six rivers including the Illinois, Des Plaines and Chicago Rivers are seeing record flooding .Peoria, Illinois, has built a temporary seawall ... to protect against a record 30 foot flood crest expected tonight [Monday]. City Manager Patrick Urich says homes just outside Peoria will be harder hit. "The unincorporated areas of the city, as you move further north into the outlying areas of the county and into some of our neighboring communities to the north. The county is estimating that there's probably going to be 450 homes that will be damaged in the flood," Urich said.  Northwest of Chicago, the Des Plaines river crested at 11 feet on Friday. Des Plaines mayor Mark Walston says he hopes the worst is over. "Tuesday we're hoping that the river will be down enough that we can start cleaning up the streets, sweeping them of nails and all kinds of debris so they can actually get in there and drive and get back to their homes to start their own cleanup," Walston said. . More rain is expected this week.
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Two Arrested on Meth Charges

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A four month investigation resulted in two Kentland residents being arrested on methamphetamine charges early Sunday. Newton County Sheriffs Police say the suspects, a 33-year-old man and 34-year-old woman, were being held in lieu of bond. A warrant was served Sunday in the 300 block of North Second Street in Kentland, where police allege methamphetamine, several precursors to make the drug, and an inactive methamphetamine lab in the garage were found.   The Newton County Drug Task Force was assisted by the Newton County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police and Kentland Police Department
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Prescribed Fire in Miller Woods

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Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore will be burning two sites... a total of about one-hundred acres...in Miller Woods today in Gary, starting between 10 and 11:00 am, weather permitting. Smoke from the prescribed fire will be visible throughout the late morning and into the afternoon. Park staff say they'll do what they can limit smoke in the area by monitoring wind and atmospheric conditions prior to ignitions. However, smoke drifting in and around park lands and roadways is possible. Before burning,a designated set of conditions must exist including ideal air temperature, wind speed and direction, and relative humidity. National Lakeshore fire officials say weather conditions will be monitored throughout the duration of the burn to ensure the fire is completed safely.
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Plant Evacuated After Bomb Threat

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State Road 114 is shut down a couple miles east of Rensselaer this morning. Around 5 am Jasper County Sheriffs Police say they received a report of a bomb threat at a trailer manufacturing plant.  Jasper County Sheriffs Police say the plant, under the supervisor's direction, was evacuated.  The area has been sealed off and all county and state highways and roads have been closed in the immediate area. The situation is an ongoing investigation at this time, no injuries have been reported, and officials say there's no property damage at this time. Police say no other details are being released at this hour.
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Lake County Traffic Alert

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Traffic-Alert
In the Crown Point area this morning (approx. 7am), an accident had US 231 closed between Iowa and 129th to the east of Interstate 65.   No other information was available at this hour.
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Harbor Dredging Pauses Temporarily

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The dredging project at the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal has been put on hold temporarily for maintenance work at the Dickey Road Bridge in East Chicago. The US Army Corps of Engineers is removing millions of cubic yards of polluted sediment from the waterway over a thirty-year period. The harbor was last dredged in 1972. Work got underway last fall, before pausing due to winter weather. The corps says the sediments pollute Lake Michigan and affect the efficiency of commercial navigation.
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Gov Signs S Shore Study Bill

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Indiana Governor Mike Pence has signed into law a measure that requires state lawmakers to study the idea of possibly expanding the South Shore line. House Enrolled Act 1450 will also review the makeup of the membership of the commuter line's operating board, possibly changing it to give Lake County more representation, since that's where the majority of passengers are coming from.
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Canoe Overturns in N Ind River

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Indiana Conservation Officers are urging everyone to stay out of the floodwaters. Regardless of swimming or boating ability, the unpredictable fast current and underwater obstructions are hazardous. And, it's still possible to suffer hypothermia. Multiple agencies responded to a call of an overturned canoe in the flooded Wabash River Sunday night. A second canoe with was able to paddle to a park in Lafayette. Conservation officers determined the first canoe struck an underwater obstruction near a bridge and overturned. All five, ages 13, 18, 19, and 23, are from around the Lafayette area. and were wearing life jackets. Everyone was evaluated by EMS and refused medical treatment.
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Doctors Warn of 'Cinnamon Challenge'

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Doctors are once warning teenagers not to take the so-called Cinnamon Challenge. ABC's Larry Jacobs reports that the prank still being depicted in videos on the Internet, is causing an increase in hospitalizations.  A report in the medical journal Pediatrics says at least thirty teens nationwide needed medical attention after taking the challenge last year. The fad involves daring someone to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon in sixty seconds without water. Cinnamon is made from tree bark and contains cellulose fibers that don't easily break down. Aside from choking, it can make it difficult to breathe and cause collapsed lungs. Poison centers report an increase in calls because of it.
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Fatal Accident in Lake County

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The Lake County Coroners office says a Leroy man suffered fatal injuries in a motor vehicle crash in the 131-hundred block of Montgomery just south of Lakes of the Four Seasons. Officials say 86-year-old Arthur Young was pronounced dead at a local hospital shortly after 5:30 Sunday evening from blunt force trauma. Lake County Sheriffs Police say the man's vehicle veered off the road, hit two trees then rolled over. The man's wife reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries. Police say both had seat belts on, and authorities think the man may have suffered a medical condition while driving.
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US 6 Closure for Bridge Work

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The Indiana Department of Transportation says the closure of the U.S. 6 bridge between Tracy Road and Meadowbrook Boulevard in Kingsford Heights beginning on Wednesday, April 24th. The closure, which is south of La Porte, is located between the east and west U.S. 6 junctions with U.S. 35. The structure will be closed to all traffic until the new bridge opens in October. A detour will take eastbound U.S. 6 traffic south on State Road 39, east in U.S. 30, north on U.S. 35, and back to U.S. 6. Westbound U.S. 6 will travel south on U.S. 35, west on U.S. 30, north on State Road 39, and back to U.S. 6.  INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, visit www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest  or www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest .  You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov.  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Indiana Jobless Rate Unchanged

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Indiana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged in March at 8-point-7 percent, halting a recent upward trend. The Indiana Department of Workforce Development says the state  saw the first decline in jobs in over a year, about 11-thousand private sector jobs over the past month, most in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector, possible evidence they say of some uncertainty in the market and the recent unseasonable weather. Officials also said Indiana experienced another month of increase in manufacturing jobs, production hours and durable goods production employment, all of which they say may point to sustained growth and future expansion potential.
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Region Lawmaker Pleased with Secession Bill

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The town of Griffith is a step closer to joining a new township, and Schererville State Representative Hal Slager says he's pleased House Bill 1585 is going to the Governor's desk. The measure will allow the town of Griffith to vote by referendum to opt out of Calumet Township in Lake County if certain conditions are not met by the township by 2015. Griffith has been trying to leave the township for years, saying their residents send significantly more to the township in tax dollars than they receive in return. Slager says the township's poor relief tax rate is 22-times higher than the state average. Under the bill, the township will have a year to lower that to 12-times the statewide average, and if unable
the Department of Local Government will classify the township as a Distressed Political Subdivision. By 2015, if the tax rate is not at a minimum of 12 times the statewide average then the referendum process will begin.  Current law prohibits a town or city to remove itself from a township or apply to join a new township by referendum.
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Two-Car Accident Injures Six

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Police say two people had to be extricated from a vehicle in a two-car crash Thursday night that also injured four others in Hobart. The collision occurred on the frontage road in front of a bowling alley on US 30 around 9:30, reports say. No word on the injured's conditions.
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Dyer Quiet Zones Ahead

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The town of Dyer is moving forward on instituting a 'quiet zone' at the Hart Street railroad crossing. A contractor's been hired to make the changes required,like a specially-designed gate. Another quiet zone is planned on Lake Street. The rail company covering the cost. The Federal Railway Authority in a designated quiet zone, railroads have been directed to cease the routine sounding of their horns when approaching public highway-rail grade crossings.
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