A 52 year Hammond City Councilman had his guilty plea accepted today in U-S District Court for federal bribery and tax charges. 2nd District Councilman Alfonso Salinas pleaded guilty to one-count of accepting over ten-thousand dollars from the owner of Dave's Tree Service to steer city work in their direction, and to one-count of failing to file a tax return for the 2006 tax year. As a result of his plea, the Councilman's seat is now considered vacant due to the federal bribery charge, which carries a 10 year prison sentence and a 250-thousand dollar fine. He could face one-year in prison and a 100-thousand dollar fine for failing to file a tax return, and must pay over 20-thousand dollars in restitution to the I-R-S.
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The Indiana Fallen Officer's Blood Drive began this month with the first donation site in the Lowell District slated to start tomorrow. The blood drive began as a way to keep alive the memory of Sergeant Dan R. Starnes, of the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, who lost his life during a line of duty gun battle in 2001. In 2007, that blood drive was taken statewide by Starnes's wife, and renamed, with donation sites located in nearly every county across the state. Blood donations will take place tomorrow, from 2 to 4pm, at the Jasper County Hospital Conference Room Basement, in Rensselaer. More blood drives are scheduled in June, and here is a list of dates and locations:
Jasper June 7th, 2013 12P-6P St. Luke Lutheran Church, 704 E. Grace
Lake June 4th, 2013 9A-3PM Lake Co. Government Center-Sheriff
Department 2293 N Main, Crown Pt
Lake June 5th, 2013 9A-3PM Same location
Starke June 4th, 2013 12P-6PM Knox Community Center, East
Lake St, Knox
Newton June 19th, 2013 3P-7PM Newton Co. Fallen Officers, 12100
Punkin Vine, Kentland
Newton July 12, 2013 1:30P-6:30 PM Kentland Community Center, 401 N
Porter June 11th, 2013 12P-6PM Porter Co Expo Center, 215 E
Porter June 23rd, 2013 9A-2PM Nativity of Our Savior Parish Hall
2949 Willowcreek Rd, Portage
Pulaski June 11, 2013 3P-7PM Pulaski Co Sheriff Dept, 110 E
Pulaski June 26, 2013 11:30A-5:30 PM Knights of Columbus, 340 E
50 N, Winamac
LaPorte June 21st, 2013 9A-2PM LaPorte Co Annex, 809 State St
Indiana Blood Facts:
• 1,000 units of blood are needed daily in Indiana
• Each unit of blood donated helps in three different ways:
o Red Cells
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Two semis in the far right lane/shoulder hauling a super load as seen looking southbound I-65 just past US-231 Crown Point exit.
(photo courtesy of INDOT)
A number of traffic tipsters are reporting two semis hauling a super load are causing slowdowns and backups southbound on I-65 approaching the US-231 Crown Point exit. Indiana State Police at the Lowell post, confirm that a superload is moving through the Region on I-65 toward the State Road 24, the Remington.Monticello exit. Drivers should be alert to slowing vehicles and merge safely into the left lane.
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(Photo Courtesy of the US Marshals Service)
A 45 year old man wanted by the Porter County Sheriff's Department for probation violation and dealing in a narcotic drug is the U-S Marshals Service, Great Lakes Task Force, “Fugitive of the Week”. Richard D. McClure is described as a white male, six-feet tall, weighing 210 pounds, with brown hair, blue eyes, with a tattoo of a devil on his left arm and a panther on his right arm. Richard McClure was last known to reside in the 42-hundred block of West 41st Avenue, in Gary, and in the 100 block of North 750 West, in Valparaiso. Anyone with information on Richard McClure's whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411). All tipsters will remain anonymous.
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A bank merger making news in the Region today. First Merchants Corporation out of Muncie and Munster-based CFS Bancorp have announced plans to merge Citizens Financial Bank into First Merchants Bank. The transaction is expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2013, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals. The combined company, doing business as First Merchants Bank expects to complete the integration during the first quarter of 2014, with nearly 100 banking offices in twenty-six Indiana counties, and two counties in Illinois and Ohio.
First Merchants and CFS will have combined assets of $5.4 billion and create the second largest financial holding company headquartered in Indiana. The combined company will have nearly 100 banking offices in twenty-six Indiana counties, as well as two counties in both Ohio and Illinois.
Michael C. Rechin, President and Chief Executive Officer of First Merchants, said, “Like First Merchants, Citizens has a long history of deep-rooted commitment to community banking and we are excited that it will become the newest member of the First Merchants family. We believe that our strategy to be a service-driven alternative to our super-regional bank competitors will support the acceleration of the Citizens’ current initiatives while furthering our goal of becoming a more efficient higher performing company. The Citizens franchise is a logical geographic extension for us given the 20-mile proximity of our nearest branch locations. Citizens’ markets in Northwest Indiana, and specifically Valparaiso, Merrillville, Schererville, Crown Point and Munster, are very similar to Lafayette, Plainfield and Greenwood Indiana markets. We believe our partnership will provide our business and consumer customers with broader services, greater access and expanded product offerings, while maintaining our legacy of local community banking.
The city of Valparaiso says the contractor’s tentative schedule is to begin construction of the five-points roundabout on May 13th, which will require the closure of Roosevelt Road. Traffic on Roosevelt will be detoured. For details, visit the city's website at this link:
The roundabout is scheduled to be complete by the fall. The work will take place in phases, so the entire intersection won't be shut down. To hear Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas discuss the roundabout project, visit Region Newsmakers here at our website. You can also hear our interview with Valparaiso City Engineer Tim Burkman on the five-points roundabout at News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Region Congressman Pete Visclosky is one of 28 members of Congress to be named a “Champion of Science” by the Science Coalition, a non-profit group of fifty US research universities that advocate for federal investment in scientific research.
“Americans have long recognized the vital role that scientific research and innovation play in fostering economic growth and job creation,” Congressman Visclosky said. “We must not forget that local investments in science and technology development like Purdue University Calumet’s Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation have the potential to create not only new jobs, but new businesses and new industries that benefit all of us. We need to invest in our future to strengthen our manufacturing base and build upon it.”
The First Congressional District is also home to the Center on Logistics, Distribution, and Transportation at Ivy Tech, the Purdue Technology Center, and several key regional institutions of higher learning, including Purdue University North Central, Purdue University Calumet, Valparaiso University, and Indiana University Northwest.
Visclosky is also a 2011 recipient of the Gerald I. Lamkin Fellow Award for Outstanding Achievement for Innovation & Service, the top individual award of The Society of Innovators.
Letter carriers around the Region and the country are encouraging their postal customers to help them 'stamp out hunger' as part of the National Association of Letter Carriers "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive today (Sat May 11, 2013), the largest one-day food drive in the world. Over the past twenty years, the effort has resulted in the delivery of more than one-point-three billion pounds of donations to community food banks and pantries. Included in that amount is 170-thousand pounds shared by the Portage Township and Nativity of Our Savior Parish food pantries in the Portage area. Those wishing to participate are asked to leave non-perishable food items attached to or beneath their mailboxes today. Please do not include items that are expired or are in glass containers.
- Officials: Cr Pt Man Sought in Home Invasion Dead
- Two Horses Hit by Train Found in Rural Union Twp
- Airport Road Overpass Named for Quentin P. Smith
- Governor Pence Signs Gaming Legislation
- Man Killed While Crossing US 30 Near the Mall
- Tri-Creek School Corp Board Looking to Fill Vacancy
- Finalists Announced for Influential Women of NW IN Awards
- LaPorte Police Investigating Vandalism At Kesling Park
- LaPorte PD Thanks Citizens for Keeping Lost Child Safe
- Law Enforcement Memorial Service Today in Dyer
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