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Lake County Foreclosures 2nd in State

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Lake County led the area in foreclosures in August, and had the second highest number of filings in the state, with 363 foreclosed homes. RealtyTrac reports while the Hammond region of Lake County had the highest number of filings, with 68, the Merrillville region had the highest rate, with one in every 331 households receiving a foreclosure filing. Other area counties saw much lower figures, with Porter County registering 32 foreclosures in August, with 13 in the Valparaiso region, while foreclosures in Stark, Newton, and Jasper County's registered at 10, 8, and 2 filings respectively. Indiana had a total of three-thousand-788 homes receiving a filing in August, well below Illinois 17-thousand-781, which also experienced the highest foreclosure rate in the nation in August....

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NWI Surgical Team Departs for Honduras

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A team of healthcare professionals from Community Hospital’s Anesthesiology and Surgical departments left for Honduras this week joining more than twenty other surgical professionals from across the United States as volunteers for Light of the World Charities.The Community Hospital surgical team will staff a four-suite operating center, providing medical treatment for urology, gynecology and general surgical conditions in an impoverished part of the world where hospital officials say health care for the indigent is nearly non-existent....

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Accused Pastor's Federal Hearing Set

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The former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond had an initial appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon, after being charged with interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. A news release issued by the US Attorneys office says 54-year-old Jack Schaap  of Dyer has signed a plea agreement filed in conjunction with the felony information following an investigation by the FBI. Published reports say Schaap faces a minimum of ten years in prison, and a court hearing was set for September 26.

First Baptist Church of Hammond issued a formal statement last night, saying they are “deeply saddened by the events that have led up to this day”....

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CHS Gives Back

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Instead of traditional floats that are all decorated and then chucked into the dumpster immediately following the parade, Chesterton High School is embracing this year's Fall Homecoming theme of "CHS Gives Back."  Kevin Zeck, Assistant Principal said the student council chose that theme as a take on American Idol's "Gives Back," as homecoming week will focus on raising funds for charity and highlighting important causes.  So classes will forgo traditional floats, according to Zeck and build, with the help of the building trades classes, a 4x8' childrens playhouse which will be on top of the class floats.  Zeck said he playhouse will be dedicated to a different charity and that after the parade and homecoming game, where the houses will also be on community display, the houses will be available for sale on Ebay, with 100% money raised going to the selected charities.   sFunding for each building has come from co-sponsorship between each graduating class and a local business.  Zeck added that the high school's homecoming parade will step off at 4pm this Friday from the Middle School parking lot down Porter Avenue, Calumet Rd. to Broadway.  CHS Homecoming game against Portage kicks off at 7 pm with the football Booster club collecting dry food donations for the food bank at the gate.  Zeck alo said that the Chesterton Chamber of Commerce will feature a Chili Cook Off tailgate party downtown starting at 3pm.  For more info about homecoming activities visit:  http://www.duneland.k12.in.us/chshomecoming

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Porter Officer Receives Lifesaving Award

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One of Porter's finest received recognition for saving a life at Tuesday night's Police Commission meeting.   Porter Police Chief, James Spanier says on the evening of August 22nd, shortly after 11 pm Porter Police responded to a call for assistance for a male subject, in his fifties, who was found unconscious and not breathing near the 200 block of Fieldstone.  Police Chief James Spanier says officer Gonzalez was first to arrive on scene and immediately began CPR without waiting on paramedics to arrive with the AED device to attempt to electronically restart the patient's heart.  Chief Spanier says Porter Fire Department's Jay Craig and Officer Gonzalez were able to successfully shock the subject's heart, resulting in the male subject being awake and conscious when EMS personnel arrived abd took subject to the hospital.  Sgt. John McMahon nominated Officer Gonzalez for a lifesaving award.  Spanier points out that Jay Craig alreayd has earned his lifesaving award from the police department from an earlier incident in 2010 where he rescued a woman from a burning building.

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Accused Pastor to Appear in Court Today

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Published reports say the former pastor of First Baptist Church in Hammond has an initial appearance in federal court this afternoon after being charged with interstate transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. A news release issued by the US Attorneys office says 54-year-old Jack Schaap of Dyer has signed a plea agreement filed in conjunction with the felony information following an investigation by the FBI.  Schaap's federal court appearance in Hammond today is scheduled for 3pm...

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Fatal Crash in Hammond

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Indiana State Police say a Gary teenager died in a crash on the Borman Expressway in Hammond last night. Troopers say the 17-year-old victim was operating a motorcycle entering eastbound I-80 from the Kennedy Avenue entrance ramp when the motorcycle struck the rear of a semi-trailer shortly before 8:30, and went under the trailer. Police say the motorcycle and trailer caught fire. The motorcyclist was pronounced dead at a local hospital. Police say the flatbed was loaded with 40-thousand pounds of engine parts for trains, and no load was lost at the scene....

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Valpo Manufacturer Expanding

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The Lieutenant Governor, the Mayor of Valparaiso, and executives from Paul Wurth, a global iron and steel engineering manufacturer, announced yesterday the company's plan to expand its operations at their Valparaiso facility. Lieutenant Governor Becky Skillman says up to 400-thousand dollars in conditional tax credits has been offered to the company by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, based on their job creation plans. Valparaiso's Mayor, Jon Costas, says the City and region has a great work force, and offers a climate that is sustainable and cost effective for businesses.

Wurth, which currently employs 14 full-time employees in Valparaiso, specializes in the sale of new spare parts and reconditioning used parts for blast furnaces.  Wurth has invested 3.6 million dollars into their 55,000 square-foot facility, which opened this past May....

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Weekend Effort Targets Impaired Drivers

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Over 400 traffic citations and nearly 600-warnings were issued over the weekend by Indiana troopers of the Lowell Post as part of a statewide effort to aggressively seek and arrest impaired drivers. Sgt. Ann Wojas, Public Information officer says the troopers made 38-impaired driving arrests and removed 23-suspended drivers from the roadway. Wojas says they also issued 18 citations for no seat belts and made 22 criminal arrests. Statewide 346 impaired drivers were arrested.  Lowell District covers Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Newton, Jasper, Starke and Pulaski Counties.Indiana State Police logo

 

 

 

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Turkey Fryer Suspected to Start Fire

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Boone Grove Fire Department Fire Chief Bill Casbon says a turkey fryer is believed to have been the cause of a house fire Sunday afternoon.  Reports say the fryer ignited while in a garage, and spread to the house when the oil sloshed out as the homeowner was trying to get it outside.  The house became fully engulfed.  There were no reports of injuries. 

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has safety tips for preventing fires and burns when using turkey fryers on its website:  http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml04/04041.html...

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Federal Report on Overcrowded Jail

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The Porter County Sheriffs Department has received a federal report on the state of overcrowding at the county jail. Sheriff David Lain asked the National Institute of Corrections to review the situation. The agency's recommendation includes hiring no fewer than sixteen officers and activating an unused “pod”, or section, of the jail, as soon as possible. The report goes on to say an additional 36 to 42 officers would be even better.  Sheriff Lain says the report has been forwarded to county officials. The jail opened in 2002.

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Fatal Crash in St. John

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Lake County Sheriffs Police say a 26-year-old Chesterton man is being held in jail on operating while intoxicated causing death after a crash at 109th and US 41 in St. John just before 6:30 Saturday evening. The person who died was a 66-year-old woman from St. John, and her husband was hospitalized. The driver of a third vehicle was treated and released. Police say the suspect's blood alcohol content was point-2-1-6, more than twice the legal limit. Police allege the man made a U-turn south of 109th Avenue, then went thru a red light, where he struck the car the victim was riding in, and that vehicle went into the path of another....

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It's Nat'l Farm Safety Health Week

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National Farm Safety and Health Week is this week.. the Indiana Youth Institute is trying to spread the word at how the Indiana Rural Health Association is working to spread broadband access, to provide better care for kids who live in rural areas. The institute says a 2008 IU study found 98-percent of rural counties fail to meet the U-S benchmark for the ratio of primary care specialists per residents, but Bill Stanczykiewiewicz, President and CEO of the Indiana Youth Institute, says those gaps are being closed thanks in part to telemedicine.

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Lake County's 1st Female Coroner

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Lake County, Indiana, has it first female coroner. A democratic caucus at the Hammond Civic Center voted in Merrilee Frey, who was uncontested. She replaces former coroner Thomas Philpot, who was convicted in a federal corruption trial on charges stemming from his time as Lake County Clerk. Frey, a forensic nurse, will finish out Philpot's term, which runs through the end of 2013. She's also the democratic candidate for coroner on november's ballot, running against republican Dr. Andy Koultourides, a Munster town councilman and local dentist.

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Food Fight (not what you think)

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There was a Region food fight over the weekend, but NOT the infamous Animal House movie kind... quite the contrary, the Civic Food Fight held at the Food Bank of northwest Indiana in Gary was a gathering of local elected officials from Lake and Porter Counties learning about the food bank, and taking part in a friendly competition – two teams to see who could pack the most boxes of food to give to children in need through the food bank's Backpack program.

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Intl Coastal Cleanup in NW Ind

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nirpc

We'll be hosting a remote at Haven Hollow Park in South Haven for International Coastal Cleanup Day today as volunteers clean up an area along Salt Creek, a Lake Michigan tributary. Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Environmental Educator Amanda Pollard says if you'd like to help, you can just show up  dressed in the kind of clothes you'd wear for yard work.  Pollard says NIRPC will have gloves and plenty of supplies like trash bags for today's event. from 9am to 12 noon.

www.greatlakes.org/adoptabeach

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Ind Supreme Court Justice Named

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Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels  has selected longtime Tippecanoe County juvenile court judge Loretta Hogan Rush as the next member of the Indiana Supreme Court. Rush will replace Justice Frank Sullivan Jr., who retired in July.

The 54-year-old Judge Rush, of Lafayette, was elected to the bench in 1998 and has served since then in Tippecanoe Superior Court 3 in Lafayette. Her court focuses on juvenile cases, including guardianships, delinquencies, adoptions and protective order hearings. As the chair of the Indiana Juvenile Justice Improvement Committee, the governor's office says Judge Rush has also been involved with statutory and regulatory efforts to bring better and standardized child welfare practices to Indiana.

Sullivan, a South Bend native, is stepping down after nineteen years on the court to teach at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis

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Alert at VU Canceled

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An unspecific threat of dangerous and criminal activity to be carried out during the chapel break earlier today on the campus of Valparaiso University, never materialized. At a news conference this afternoon Mark Schwehn Provost of Valparaiso University says the threat came about when a faculty member found a graffiti threat in a bathroom in the Neils Science Center Last night.  Overnight the university police with FBI consultation searched all the major buildings on campus and found nothing suspicious.   Schwehn says the Incident Command Team met and decided not to close campus but issue campus-wide alerts starting at 6:00 am this morning.  Schwehn says bomb threats received at University of Texas and North Dakota State University were not related.  The alert was cancelled shortly after the chapel break this afternoon.  The Porter County Sheriff's police, Valparaiso, Portage and Lake Station police departments assisted University police during the incident.  Because the investigation is active no other information is available at this time.

Alert at VU Canceled

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  ( photo provided by Radio One)

Mark Schwehn, Provost of Valparaiso University at VU news conference. ...

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Threat Prompts VU Campus-Wide Alert

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Valparaiso University officials today say a campus-wide alert was issued in response to an unspecified threat of violence alleged to occur today, Friday, Sept. 14 during Chapel Break. A university spokersperson says Valparaiso University Police, local authorities and the FBI investigated the threat and a thorough human and canine search of campus did not find anything suspicious. VU officials also say additional security measures have been implemented, and authorities continue their investigation. VU says classes remain in session and all regular activities remain scheduled.

 

Students at two other college campuses -- the University of Texas and North Dakota State University in Fargo – were also on alert earlier due to threats. Students and staff and University of Texas have since been given the all-clear. ...

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Fatal Borman Crash Overnight

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Indiana State Police say a driver going the wrong way on the Borman Expressway overnight died after striking a semi head-on about two-miles east of the Gary Broadway exit. Police say according to a preliminary investigation, at about 1:30 am, a pick-up truck got onto I-80 eastbound at an unknown location, and was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes. The driver of the pick-up was pronounced dead at the scene.  The Freightliner, loaded with approximately 41,000 pounds of food product, sustained heavy front tractor damage, troopers say, but no load was loss and the semi driver was not injured.

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