About-Laura

Born in Northwest Indiana, Laura's a graduate of River Forest High School (home of the Ingots) and got her bachelor's degree from Purdue and a master's from Indiana University [we think she roots for both even when they play each other].

Her work has won several awards from the Indiana Broadcasters Association, Society of Professional Journalists/Indiana Chapter, and Network Indiana. She has also had academic papers selected for presentation at national conferences like the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and Broadcast Education Association.

Laura watched her share of game shows growing up and one summer while in California, she's chosen to be a contestant on "Sale of the Century". Her TV favorites include The Honeymooners, Project Runway, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who and Star Trek (TNG and the original). She also enjoys crossword puzzles and when asked what some of her favorite places to visit are she says -- office supply stores.



Lauras-Blog

9th Annual NW Indiana Earth Day Celebration April 19

Green Zone

Earth Day Celebration offers free day of fun, live animal shows, birdhouse building and more

Northwest Indiana – The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County invites residents from Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties and beyond to become inspired, educated and entertained at the ninth annual Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at the Porter County Expo Center, 215 E. Division Rd., Valparaiso.

Admission and parking for the event are free. The Celebration features two live animal shows by Silly Safaris at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and the return of the Recycle Cycle, a silly contraption made out of reused items.

Other programs taking the stage include “Renewable Energy Basics: How does it work?” presented by Midwest Wind and Solar, 9:30 a.m.; the National Lakeshore Fire Management Program with Smokey Bear, 10:30 a.m.; the return of the Recycle Cycle, 12:30 p.m., and the Lake County Solid Waste Management District’s award-winning Green Team, 1:30 p.m.

With dozens of exhibitors, many offering free children’s activities, the event provides something interesting for all attendees to learn about the planet and what they can do to help reduce their environmental impact.  

Highlights of the Celebration include Build Your Own Birdhouse by Porter County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, supplies limited; appearances by the district’s Glen the Garbologist, Splash the water drop, Porter County Wildlife’s Rocky Raccoon, Metro Recycling’s Scrappy the Turtle, and Hooper the Hobart Caterpillar; rides in NIPSCO’s electric car; free reusable bags to the first 300 families; shredding of confidential papers by Opportunity Enterprises Secure Shred, 9 a.m. to noon; free tree saplings for completed event surveys; Great Cloth Diaper Change at 11 a.m.; family yoga class for parents and children of all ages, 12:30 p.m.; alternative fuel vehicle displays; silent auction to support environmental education; “bingo” game for a chance to win a bicycle; and much more.

Additionally, the second annual school/class rain barrel design contest will be judged at the Celebration. Twenty-five barrels from schools throughout Porter and LaPorte Counties will be on display, vying to win the grand prizes of classroom scholarships, sponsored by K’s Construction & Roofing, Inc.  All Earth Day attendees can vote on their favorite rain barrels.

Exhibitors and vendors include Green Housewives Bath Company; Imperfections, LLC; Metro Recycling; Midwest Wind and Solar; Mothering by Nature; Sierra Club Dunelands Group; South Shore Clean Cities; Porter County Animal Shelter; Working Bikes; Scented Seasons; and many more!

For a complete listing of programs and exhibitors, visit the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County’s website, www.ItMeanstheWorld.org or call 219-465-3819 for more information.

The 2014 Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration is supported by the following generous sponsors: NIPSCO; Metro Recycling; Northern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Duneland 28; Lakeshore Public Television; and many others.

The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is a government agency dedicated to improving the environment and quality of life for Porter County residents by providing convenient, voluntary waste reduction services.

 

Indep Cat Society April Adoption Special

Animal Corner

During April the Independent Cat Society is holding a" Choose your own Colorful Calico" adoption special. We will be offering the adoption of a beautiful calico cat or kitten for $40. A companion of any kind or size is only $25. And we will continue to offer our 'Adopt a Cat Over 5 Years Old - We Waive the Adoption Fee'. This may be the last month for this promotion so if you are considering adopting a older cat, and please do consider them as they are wonderful companions, please come check ours out during April. Our adoption fee includes - spay or neuter, current vaccinations, flea treatment and nail trim. We also include a free initial vet visit with one of our participating vets within 2 weeks of the adoption. So come out and meet our many wonderful cats and kittens available for adoption. Our adoption hours are Saturdays 10am to 4pm and Sundays 1pm to 4pm. Other hours are available by appointment. The Independent Cat Society was founded in 1977 and a not for profit, no-kill cat shelter. Our mission is to promote the welfare of all animals, especially cats, by reducing pet overpopulation, educating the public, preventing cruelties to animals, promoting responsible pet ownership, and working for more humane legislation. For more information please contact our shelter at 219-785-4936 or check out our Facebook page.

 

Severe Weather Planning for Pets: Easy as 1-2-3

Animal Corner

INDIANAPOLIS (17 March 2014)—As cold winter weather yields to sunny days, Hoosier pet owners should plan now for the inevitable stormy weather that arrives with spring. Preparing now can keep every member of the family (including those with fur or feathers) safe in the face of tornadoes, flooding or power outages.

According to Sandra Norman, DVM, Companion Animal Director for the Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH), planning is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

“Preparedness planning for pets is not hard to do,” explains Dr. Norman. “Just think ahead to what your pet would need for three to five days if life is disrupted by a disaster. There are really just three components to have in a disaster plan.”
• A “Go Kit”:  Have assembled, in one place and ready to grab in an instant, everything a pet would need for a three- to five-day trip away from home. This includes a crate/carrier, water and food bowls, bottled water and food, leash, treats, toys, medications, copies of vaccination records and (for cats) litter and a disposable litter pan.

“A Go Kit should be customized to the individual needs of each animal, whether it’s a cat or bird or large dog. Everything should be in one place, ready to go to keep your pet comfortable,” she said.
•An evacuation plan:  Pre-determine three to five places where your pet can stay if you must leave your home quickly. This could be a kennel, veterinary clinic with boarding services, the home of a friend or family member, or (for those who prefer to stay with their pets) pet-friendly hotels. Have all the contact information, including addresses and phone numbers stored in Go Kit or on a smart phone. Identify places 5 miles to 20 miles away from home, in case the disaster area is widespread.

“Confirming policies and selecting sites ahead of time can ease much stress in an emergency,” said Dr. Norman.
•A shelter-in-place plan:  In some situations, staying at home (or “sheltering in place”) may be the best option for your pet. When you need to stay put with your animals, secure them indoors, like in a bathroom, barn or garage, preferably without windows. The smaller space will protect the pet from injury from debris or weather conditions. If possible, provide the added security of a crate or cage, to provide a calm environment when pets are more likely to act out under stress.

“Bathrooms are ideal, because they are small, have running water, and often pet-friendly flooring,” she explained.

A disaster plan for animals does not have to be complicated or difficult to prepare.

“The important thing is to have everything in one place and, in the case of evacuation plans, written down,” Dr. Norman notes. “The extra 10 or 15 minutes you will save by not having to gather everything on your way out the door, can mean the difference between life or death to you and your pet.”

For more information on disaster planning for animals, visit the BOAH website at www.boah.in.gov or Facebook at www.facebook.com/inboah . [Indiana State Board of Animal Health news release]

 

Porter Co Extension Board Tree Sale, Workshop Apr 5

Green Zone

Flowers, fruit, stunning autumn color, privacy, energy-saving shade and year-round beauty all can be found in the trees for sale through the Porter County Extension Board Tree Sale and Workshop on Saturday, April 5, from 8 am to 11 am at the Porter County Fairgrounds.

Trees, as well as small fruit and asparagus plants, may be preordered until March 28 and picked up on the day of the event, which will also feature educational presentations on the hour.  Preorders over $100 will receive a 10% discount.

For cooling shade – and perfect replacements for a lost Ash tree – are bare root whips or seedlings of Tulip Poplar, Bur Oak, Chinese Chestnut and White Oak.  If privacy and year-round interest are desired, choose from American Arborvitae, Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Frasier Fir.  All are $4.

Beautiful spring flowers and delicious fruit can be had with a wide variety of apple, along with apricot, peach, cherry, plum, pear and nectarine, all great bloomers and available in 4-foot to 6-foot bare root for $18.  Sizes are dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard depending on the variety.

Small fruit plants and shrubs, either potted or in multi-packs for $12, include blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, grape and blackberry, and make for great family projects and are good fresh or for freezing and canning.

Order forms are available at the Porter County Extension office in the Porter County Administration Building, 155 Indiana St., Suite 301, Valparaiso, or at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/porter/pages/default.aspx

For more information, contact the Extension office at 465-3555

For more information on Ash replacement trees, go to:
http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/EAB/index.php?page=management/homeowners/replacement_trees

 

Appts Taken for Pet Portraits to Benefit HSCA

Animal Corner

Highland, Ind. (March 18, 2014) — For one day only on Saturday, April 26, Woof Studios will offer sittings for pet portraits at PAWS Resale Shoppe, 8149 Kennedy Ave, Highland.

Woof Studios uses green screen technology to offer thousands of background options. The sitting fee is $10 and photos can be purchased by the sheet or individually. Woof Studios will donate the sitting fee proceeds to Humane Society Calumet Area.

To make an appointment, please contact HSCA at (219) 922-3811. To learn more about HSCA, visit www.hscalumet.org and for more information about Woof Studios, visit www.woofstudios.net.

 

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