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

Purdue Master Gardener Pgm Seeks New Crop of Volunteers

Green Zone

If you want to sharpen your gardening skills and you have an interest in sharing your knowledge with others, Purdue University has a program for you.  

Beginning January 22, 2014, a Purdue Master Gardener Program training series will be offered for residents of Lake County and surrounding areas.  The Purdue Master Gardener Program is a volunteer training program that provides a learning framework for participants to increase their knowledge on a wide variety of horticultural subjects.  In turn, participants volunteer, representing Purdue University.  As volunteers, participants grow by sharing knowledge while providing leadership and service in educational gardening activities within their communities.

Training will be held on Wednesdays from 1:00-4:00 p.m. or 5:45-8:45 p.m. CST.  Participants will be exposed to a wide range of subjects including soil and plant science, diagnosis of plant problems, pesticide safety, and culture of vegetable, flower, landscape, and fruit plants.  

Materials and expenses for the series of classes cost $200.00 per participant. This expense fee covers such items as reference notebooks and supplies.  These materials all become part of the Master Gardener's personal collection.  

While the class will be encouraged to create new educational outreach programs, there are already plenty of opportunities for which volunteers are needed.  Some of these projects include the staffing information booths at gardening events, teaching public education classes, speaking to local clubs and organizations, and hand-on demonstration gardens.  

For questions about the program, contact Nikky Witkowski, 880 E. 99th Ct., Suite A, Crown Point, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 219-755-3240.  To download an application, go to http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/Documents/ANR/2014MGCLassLetterApplicaton.pdf

 

Master Recycler/Composter Program Offered in Porter Co

Green Zone

Porter County -- The Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County invites Porter County residents and those who work in the county to participate in the new Master Recycler/Composter Program that is scheduled for the spring of 2014.

Participants will learn about waste prevention, recycling, and composting, and have the opportunity to meet others who have similar waste reduction and environmental interests in this extensive eight-week session.

The program will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Feb. 5 through March 26, in the meeting room at the Porter County Sheriff’s Department, 2755 State Rd. 49, Valparaiso. The course will feature guest speakers and field trips that will help students gain environmental knowledge beyond the blue bin.

Topics will include: waste prevention, recycling processes, household hazardous waste and alternatives, organics recycling and home composting. Registration is available on the District’s website, www.ItMeansTheWorld.org.

“Reducing the waste that goes into our landfills is much more than placing glass jars, plastics containers, aluminum cans and paper products at the curb,” said Therese Davis, executive director of the Recycling & Waste Reduction District of Porter County.  “By paying attention to what we do every day and rethinking our routines, we can further reduce waste and make a difference.”

A fee of $30 will help cover the cost of course materials and is due upon acceptance into the program. Class participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer time to educate and inspire others in their community to reduce waste in the home and at work.

The class is limited to 30 participants. Applicants that apply after the class is full will be placed on a waiting list and notified when the next course is scheduled.
     
“Volunteer work can include helping out at the Northwest Indiana Earth Day Celebration, teaching a local community group how to incorporate recycling at their special event, educating residents in an apartment or condo complex about recycling opportunities, working booths at special events and more,” Davis said. “We’re open to other great ideas they have about inspiring others to become knowledgeable about waste reduction.”

For more information, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 465-3819.

 

PC Animal Shelter Home for the Holidays Adoption Program

Animal Corner

The Porter County Animal Shelter will kick-off their Homes For The Holidays feline adoption program on Black Friday, November 29th. The first thirty qualified adopters who will give a homeless cat or kitten a forever home will receive a $15 Pet Supplies Plus Gift Card! The gift card can help make your cat's new home ready with litter, litter trays and food! Every adoptable cat and kitten qualifies for the program, but hurry because only the first 30 qualified adopters will receive the gift card!

“Because we experienced a late kitten season, our cat room is overflowing with nearly 100 cats and kittens,” stated Shelter Director Jon Thomas. “With such a wide variety of ages, breeds and colors it is hard to imagine that cat lovers won't be able to find that very special cat or kitten that they are looking for.”

The Homes For The Holiday feline adoption program begins on Black Friday, November 29th and runs until thirty of the cats and kittens are adopted. The adoption fee for cats and kittens is $50. Each adopting family is provided with a spay/neuter certificate, if applicable, that is honored by most local veterinarians. All potential adopters must complete an adoption application and are subject to the approval by Shelter staff. Many (but not all) of the adoptable cats or kittens can be seen on PetFinder or in the Adoptable Cats photo album on the Shelter's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/portercountyanimalshelter  .

The Porter County Animal Shelter is located at 2056 Heavilin Road in Valparaiso. Shelter hours are Noon until 6:00pm on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; Noon until 7:00pm on Thursday; and Noon until 4:00pm on Saturday and Sunday. The Shelter is closed to the public on Mondays.

 

Indep Cat Society Adoption Special, Cats 5 and Over

Animal Corner

Nov 2013 adoption flyer 2 495x640

The Independent Cat Society's November/December Adoption Promotion is still ongoing. We are offering the adoption of a cat 5 years or older and we will waive the adoption fee. This will include a spay or neuter, current vaccines, flea treatment, nail trim and a free initial vet visit with one of our participating vets. We have many wonderful over 5 cats available please stop out and check them out soon.
 
We also offer the adoption of a cat under 5 for $75 and a companion cat for no charge. This still includes the above mentioned spay or neuter, current vaccines, etc, etc.
 
November is 'Adopt a Senior Pet Month.'  Help us to give our cats something to celebrate this holiday season, a home and family of their very own.
 
Any questions please contact the Independent Cat Society 219.785.4936.

Courtesy of the Independent Cat Society:

November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we want to challenge you to look behind the fluffy cuteness of a new kitten and see the beauty that older pets have to offer! Here are our top 10 reasons to adopt a senior cat.

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Top 10 reasons to adopt a senior cat:

1. When senior cats are adopted, they seem to understand that they’ve been rescued, and are all the more thankful for it.
2. A senior cat’s personality has already developed, so you’ll know if he or she is a good fit for your family.
3. You can teach an old cat new tricks: Senior cats have the attention span and impulse control that makes them easier to train than their youthful counterparts.
4. A senior cat may very well already know basic household etiquette (like not attacking your feet at night) anyway!
5. In particular, senior cats are often already litter trained and are less likely to “forget” where the box is.
6. A senior cat won’t grow any larger, so you’ll know exactly how much cat you’re getting.
7. Senior cats are often content to just relax in your company, unlike younger cats, who may get into mischief because they’re bored.
8. Speaking of relaxing, senior cats make great napping buddies.
9. Senior cats often know that scratching posts (not furniture) are for scratching and toys (not hands or feet) are for biting.
10. Senior cats are some of the hardest to find homes for––so when you adopt a senior cat, you’re truly saving a life.

 

Lake County Master Gardeners Scholarship Program 2014-15

Green Zone

Crown Point, IN—The Lake County Master Gardeners are pleased to announce that they are continuing their scholarship program for the 2014-15 academic year. Scholarships will be awarded to undergraduate college & university students who are residents of Lake County. In addition to the majors of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, majors of Forestry, Botany (Horticulture Equivalent), Plant Pathology, Agricultural Education, and Entomology are eligible as well. Other majors that benefit consumer gardening may be considered if the applicant provides a one paragraph description of how they will use their major to promote the objectives of the Master Gardeners. The application deadline is February 18, 2014. Application forms are available from university departmental offices or by calling the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, Lake County Office at 755-3240 or at http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/Documents/ANR/2014-15%20post_secon_scholarship%20app.pdf

The scholarships are funded by the proceeds of the Master Gardener annual plant sale, donations from the Illiana Garden Pond Society and other generous donors.

Source:  Nikky Witkowski, Extension Educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources/Horticulture

Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service, Lake County, 880 E. 99th Ct., Suite A, Crown Point, IN  46307

219-755-3240, FAX 219-755-3251

Purdue Extension – Lake County Website:  http://www3.ag.purdue.edu/counties/lake/pages/default.aspx

Lake County Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Purdue-Extension-Lake-County/275041175876408

 

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Studio Phone: 1-219-980-2577

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