Porter County Officer Performs CPR, Revives Baby

A four-week old baby girl is going to be okay thanks to the actions of a Porter County Sheriff's Deputy – who wasn't originally scheduled to be working that night. Sgt. Jeremy Chavez responded to a 911 call of a baby not breathing just after midnight Saturday, when on his way he was flagged down by a driver who turned out to be the mother, who had decided to leave for the hospital. Officer Chavez, who'd never performed CPR on a baby and just received his annual CPR certification about a month ago, performed CPR on the infant right then and there until medics arrived. The child was born premature, officials say, and had been hospitalized until last Friday.  At last check, the baby, who was transferred to a South Bend hospital was doing well.  [Photos provided; From left, Diamond Earl holding her baby Chyna Earl; Porter County Sheriff's Police Sgt. Jeremy Chavez]

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Seasonal Job Openings at Valpo Parks for 2014

Valpo Parks is hiring for several seasonal job openings to work with adult sports and adult enrichment programming offered through the department.  In addition there are opportunities to work at Rogers-Lakewood Park during the summer season.
·  Adult Soccer Officials -- May – August
·  Adult Softball Officials -- May – July, August – September
·  Ultimate Frisbee Staff (new position)      April – July
·  Adult Enrichment Staff:
1.       Tai Chi Instructor
2.       Fitness Instructor for
          a)      new mothers getting back in shape (SAINT program, pg. 18 of brochure)
          b)      running program (pg. 25)
· Lakewood Staff -- Memorial Day – Labor Day
Full job descriptions are available at  under the “I Want to…” tab. Interested applicants can complete the online application, download a hard copy for completion or stop in to the Valpo Parks office to fill out the application. For more information, call Program Director Dan Lukes at 219.462.5144....

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Hope For the Holidays Feeds over 2,170 People

Food Bank of NW Indiana
Gary, IN— The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, NIPSCO, and Jelly Pancake House partnered together this month to provide Hope for the Holidays to those in need in our communities. Through a special breakfast held on Dec. 6th at the Merrillville Jelly’s restaurant the program raised over $21,000, $20,000 from a special donation from NIPSCO. The money was used to purchase food to be distributed at giveaways on Dec. 14th and Dec. 21st in Valparaiso and Merrillvile respectively. NIPSCO also sent volunteers to assist at both distributions.

Between the two giveaways the Food Bank was able to distribute food to over 670 people. Since these individuals will share this food with their families, the Hope for the Holidays program was actually able to feed over 2,170 people.

“We’re very happy we were able to feed so many families in need this holiday season,” said Arleen Peterson, Food Bank Executive Director. “There are so many people going without in our communities, and it’s so wonderful to see companies like NIPSCO and Jelly’s stepping up to make sure those folks can also have a happy holiday.”
Any food that was left over from the two distributions was used at the Pantry on the Go distribution on Dec. 23rd.

The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is located in Gary and supplies food to almost 100 pantries and soup kitchens in Lake and Porter Counties. In addition to distributing food to their member agencies the Food Bank also runs the BackPack, Kid’s Café, Food Rescue and Pantry on the Go programs and offers pantry referrals. Last year the Food Bank distributed over 5.1 million pounds of food, and served over 5,000 individuals a week. ...

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Work Continues to Let Blind Woman Keep Her Home

Work continues to allow an elderly blind woman in Cedar Lake keep her longtime home after the small plot of land ended up on a county tax sale list and was sold out from under her for 43-dollars. During a recent Region News Makers interview Cedar Lake Town Council President Randy Niemeyer says town council members took action earlier this month directing the town attorney to look into trying to buy the property where 67-year-old Dolores Pittman has lived for over a half-century, then allowing her to stay there through possibly a life-estate agreement.
Pittman's family bought the house decades ago, and was paying rent on the land, and when a church group that used to own the land divested itself of the property and property tax bills for the parcel began mounting up. To hear more our Region News Makers interview with Cedra Lake Town Council President Niemeyer, visit

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Season's Greetings from Governor Mike Pence

Gov Mike Pence
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and that is especially true in the Hoosier State. Ever since my youth, Christmas in Indiana has been magical to me, and it still is. It is a time of the year when my present pays special tribute to my past. I cannot come to a Christmas Eve without spending some time thinking of my Dad, gone now 25 years, or my grandparents, whose loving arms and twinkling eyes still light my memories.
Every family has their own traditions, but for the Pences, it will mean church and dinner on Christmas Eve with Karen’s side of the family and Christmas morning opening presents around the tree at the Governor’s Residence with our three college-age kids.
During this special time, we do well to remember that many across our state face this season with heartache. Some have lost a job, some have been out of work for a long time, some have lost a loved one, and others have a son or daughter serving our country in a distant land. For all  of them,  I pray they find hope, comfort and joy in this blessed season. And as we enjoy our families, let’s find ways to share our blessings by being generous with our treasure and time. Let’s make an extra effort to support local charities as they provide for the needs of the most vulnerable within our communities. And let’s remember to personally reach out to that neighbor who needs a helping hand or a word of encouragement. It may be just the gift someone needs most.
On behalf of our family, I wish you and yours a truly memorable holiday season. Merry Christmas, Indiana.
Governor Mike Pence...

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Proposed P3 Airport Terms to be Made Public on 1/13

Preliminary approval was given today by the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board to move forward with the public meeting of ordinances surrounding the proposed privatization terms. Tim Toughy, spokesperson for the public-private partnership committee says the proposed terms will be made public on January 13th, with an opportunity for public comment through January 27th. A public hearing will also take place on January 27th and the board may choose to vote on the matter that day.
The proposed terms were negotiated by the Ad Hoc committee with Aviation Facilities Company Inc., of Virginia, and include an investment of 25 million dollars in the first three years and a minimum 30 percent goal for local workforce participation as well as performance incentives for revenue growth, including profit sharing with the airport and the City of Gary. ...

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Crashes Cause Road Restrictions in Porter County

porter co sheriff dept
Two separate crashes involving extractions have kept Porter County Sheriff's Police busy this afternoon and as a result traffic restrictions were put in place. Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says a three-vehicle crash involving two passenger vehicles and a semi took place on County Road 600 North and State Road 49. Sgt. LaFlower reports northbound traffic on State Road 49 was restricted to one-lane and County Road 600 North traffic is not being allowed to cross State Road 49. No major injuries are being reported.
Meanwhile US 6, between Mander Drive and County Road 350 East in Jackson Township, will be closed until around 6:30pm tonight for crash cleanup after a westbound vehicle crossed the center line for unknown reasons and struck an eastbound semi head-on. Sgt. LaFlower says a 49 year old Wanatah woman had to extricated from her vehicle as a result of the crash, while her 69 year old female passenger also reported an injury. The semi driver was not injured in the crash....

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Head-on Crash Closes Portion of US-6 in Porter County

US-HWY 6 is closed between Mander Rd. and CR-350 E. due to a head-on crash between a semi and another vehicle. Porter County Sheriff's police say drivers should avoid the area for at least the next couple hours. 
Drivers need to avoid US Highway 6 east of Calumet Avenue in Jackson Township this afternoon. Shortly after 2:00 pm CST emergency crews responded to a report of a semi vs another vehicle in a head-on crash on US HWY 6 in Jackson Township.  
Sgt. Larry La Flower of the Porter County Sheriff's Department says at least one extrication was performed and a life flight helicopter was landing in the area. Sgt. La Flower is urges drivers to stay out of the area as the accident scene will be active for some time. Reportedly semi hauling a steel coil lost its load and is leaking diesel fuel as a result Hazmat crews are enroute to the scene. as a result of the crash, US- HW 6 is closed between Mander Dr. and CR-350 E. in Jackson Township.
Also, another crash is being reported in Porter County at State Rd. 49 and County Rd.600 N north of Valparaiso. Drivers need to be alert to arriving emergency vehicles.


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Gold Coin Dropped in Red Kettle in Cedar Lake

gold coin
December 23, 2013 (Chicago) – One 1-ounce 1993 fine gold $50 coin, valued at approximately $1,300, was dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle on Friday, December 20, at a Strack and Van Til in Cedar Lake (9605 Lincoln Plaza). Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana.
In the continuing economic downturn, more and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for help. The Salvation Army in Munster, which includes Cedar Lake, has seen a marked increase in the number of families, individuals and seniors requesting emergency aid for food, largely due to decreases in federal assistance benefits. Food assistance is one of the primary uses for Red Kettle donations, along with emergency rent and utility assistance, after-school programs for youth and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Each holiday season, The Salvation Army in Lake County serves more than 11,000 people, provides more than 2,500 food baskets, 8,000 toys and more than 4,000 articles of clothing.

"Donations to red kettles in Lake County Indiana are down by 30 percent compared to this time last year, so a donation as significant as this gold coin really does go a long way toward helping us meet our goal and we're so grateful to our anonymous Secret Santa," said Lt. Betsy Clark of The Salvation Army Hammond-Munster Corps. "This year we had one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we're trying our best to make up for lost time so that we don't have to make any cuts to the critical social services we provide to people in need all year long."
The philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles actually began right here and dates back more than 25 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in McHenry County. Since then, The Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins of every type and description from anonymous donors.
The familiar Red Kettles will disappear from the streets on December 24, with a few remaining until January 4. However, the Red Kettle campaign will continue through January 31, 2014. The iconic red kettles and its bell ringers are the heart and soul of the Christmas season and are an integral part of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. The Salvation Army receives nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the campaign. The funds are used not only to support Christmas programs and services, but to help The Salvation Army serve neighbors in need throughout the entire year. Funds raised will stay in the Lake County community.

For those wishing to donate at their computers, virtual Red Kettles are available on-line. Donors can host a virtual Red Kettle, or sponsor a Red Kettle team, by going to The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division web site at Visitors to the site can register individually, as a group, or a business by completing a simple registration form.

To make a donation by mail, please send to:
The Salvation Army, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
call 219-838-0380
or visit www.salarmyhammond,org


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Extra Alarm Industrial Fire in Chicago Heights

1 breaking-news
Crews are on the scene of an extra alarm industrial fire at the Trialco Plant in Chicago Heights, which has caused the closure of US 30, between State Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. No further information is available at this time. ...

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