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.
Humane Society of Northwest Indiana presents
“Christmas for the Animals Party”
Humans & Pets Alike Are Invited to HSNI Annual Christmas Party December 7th
For many years now, The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana (HSNI) in Miller/Gary, Indiana has presented an annual “Christmas for the Animals” fundraiser at the shelter.
This year’s party will be held Saturday, December 7 from 12 Noon to 4pm, only the gala has been moved a few blocks to the more spacious and comfortable American Legion Post #27 on 6601 Hobart Road in Miller/Gary, IN since last year’s party was so well attended by animal loving humans and their pets. The move to the Legion hall also allows us to offer a cash bar with a variety of “holiday spirits” for those who are 21 and older.
To accommodate this year’s guests, American Legion Post #27’s has kindly offered their wonderful hall for a party open to all ages. Bring your leashed and well-behaved furry friends along to the party and have their photo taken with Santa by Erika Reva of Reva Photography Studio who has generously
offered her services. For a minimum donation of $10, you will receive a CD of the photos to make copies and/or use to make holiday cards.
For a small donation, visitors can also place an ornament on our shelter “Tree of Hope” with all monies collected directed into “Hope’s Fund” which helps us care for the severely abused and neglected animals who come to our shelter.
There will be homemade cups of chili, hot coffee and hot cider to ward off the winter chill, along with holiday cookies. Raffles and gift baskets will also help raise funds for the care of all HSNI animals at the shelter. If you are looking for a forever friend, the shelter will be open and is just a few blocks down the road where our staff will be happy to take you back to meet all of our animals.
The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana is located at 6100 Melton Road (Route 20), Miller Beach/Gary, Indiana. For more information about HSNI, to view animals in their care and to download adoption applications, log on at www.millercritters.netor visit The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana on Facebook.
To contact the HSNI by phone:
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.
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.
Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is participating in #GivingTuesday, an online social media movement whose focus is to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness to create a better world.
On #GivingTuesday – December 3, 2013 – a giving link will be available on Taltree’s website, Taltree.org. People interested in participating in #GivingTuesday and helping Taltree can make a modest monetary donation.
Founded in 2012, #GivingTuesday brings individuals, corporations, small businesses and nonprofits together to showcase the giving spirit of the holiday season.
#GivingTuesday is about inspiring more and better giving every day. The goal is to create a national day of giving, making it as synonymous with the holiday season as the retail industry has made Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Just as the retail industry has benefited from these coordinated national shopping days, #GivingTuesday harnesses collective messaging power for nonprofits.
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is participating in #GivingTuesday to raise awareness and funds for environmental conservation and education. This 360-acre oak preserve encompasses the second most diverse collection of oak species in the nation; is home to many endangered and rare plant and animal species; and has restored the native prairie, woodland and wetland landscape of the Northwest Indiana region. In the 15 years Taltree has been in existence, it has become a leader in the Northwest Indiana region in environmental conservation and education efforts.
“A collective is only as good as its individual parts. #GivingTuesday is about the parts – nonprofits, for-profit companies and individuals – coming together to move forward and make the world a better place.” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “Our philosophy is inspired by Ralph Waldo Emerson – ‘The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.’”
Those interested in joining Taltree Arboretum & Gardens’ #GivingTuesday initiative can visit Taltree.org/GivingTuesday. For more details about the #GivingTuesday movement, visit GivingTuesday.org.
Porter County – The Valparaiso compost site, 2150 W. Lincolnway, and the Boone Grove compost site, 546 S. 400 W., will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 1, for the Thanksgiving holiday.
Both sites will reopen Monday, Dec. 2, and hold regular season hours for the rest of the week through Saturday, Dec. 7, after which both sites will close for the season. Regular season hours for the Valpo site are 9 a.m.to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Valparaiso site is owned and operated by the City of Valparaiso, and the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County helps to maintain it and staff the guard house.
Regular hours for the Boone Grove compost site, owned and operated by the district, are noon to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
The compost sites allow the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County and select municipalities to manage organic material, composting yard waste and grinding organic wood waste to create large amounts of finished compost and mulch. The resulting compost and mulch are available free for public use, as long as supplies last.
Porter County residents are advised to call the district, 465-3694, to determine material availability and site access, if inclement weather occurs. Residents should bring shovels and containers to load as much compost and mulch as they want.
Both sites accept organic yard waste, leaves, garden and household plants, brush, limbs, logs and firewood. Porter County residents are encouraged to bring their live fall decorations, such as pumpkins, gourds, corn and mums, to compost at the sites.
Other materials also accepted for recycling at these sites include: household batteries, old electronics (computers, televisions, anything with an electrical cord or powered by batteries!), fluorescent light bulbs (tubes and CFLs), toner cartridges, old media (CDs, video cassettes, etc.), and cell phones and cell phone accessories.
Residents should remove plastic bags and other such containers upon dropping off materials. Grass is accepted at the Boone Grove site only. No treated wood or lumber of any kind are accepted at either site.
In 2014, the Valpo site will begin 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. off-season hours on Saturdays beginning Jan. 4, for residents to recycle their once live Christmas trees, wreaths and other organic holiday waste. The Saturday hours will continue through April 2014, when both sites will open for the season. The Boone Grove site will remain closed after Dec. 7, until the regular season begins in April.
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 programs. The district promotes environmental stewardship among individuals and businesses through education programs, waste reduction services and other outreach programs.
For more information on the Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County, visit www.ItMeansTheWorld.org or call 219-465-3694.
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