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Extreme Cold Affecting South Shore Trains

The operators of the South Shore commuter line this morning are reporting mechancal issues and delays due to the extreme cold. At last word, Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District reported three trains this morning that were running at least 15 minutes late.
Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD) website:  http://www.nictd.com/...

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Man Guilty in Hit-Run Death of Jail Officer

In Lake County court, authorities say a jury has found a Lakes of the Four Seasons man guilty in a hit-and-run crash that killed Lake County Corrections Officer Brittney Meux and injured three others in March 2012. 43-year-old Jason Cozmanoff was convicted of all thirteen counts, including reckless homicide and criminal recklessness. Police say the officers were struck while jogging along 93rd Avenue not far from the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point. Sentencing was set for February 7th....

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Bitter Cold, Wind Chills Delay Schools

Numerous schools across the Region are delayed this morning due to the bitter cold and wind chills. Temperature at Crown Point and Valparaiso was seven-below, with wind chills around 20-below this morning. A wind chill advisory has been extended until 10 am for La Porte and Starke Counties.
We have the long list of delays at the Region Cancellations &  Closings link here at our website.
Here's a link to the Region forecast at the Chicago National Weather Service website:
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...

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Hammond PD Reciprocity and Traffic Safety Blitz Results

Hammond PD
Hammond Police recently wrapped up a traffic safety enforcement blitz as part of the “Safe Family Travel” campaign. Lt. Patrick Vicari says a total of 918 citations for violations including seatbelt and child restraint violations, operating while intoxicated, speeding and equipment violations, which he says is slightly down from last year. Lt. Vicari says unfortunately there was one serious crash that was DUI related on both driver's accounts resulting in a fatality with several people being seriously injured.
Hammond Police also recently completed a blitz of out of state license plate violators where Lt. Varcari says 133 vehicles were impounded. According to Indiana law, a person has 60 days to change both the license plates to their vehicle and drivers license to show their current Indiana address....

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Indiana Receives Settlement $ from RBC Capital Markets

Secretary of State
Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson today announced Indiana has received almost 37-thousand dollars from RBC Capital Markets as the result of a settlement into a multi-state investigation that some RBC employees who were not registered to sell securities had been accepting orders. Indiana Securities Commissioner says RBC Capital Markets, part of the Royal Bank of Canada and the fifth largest bank in North America, has agreed to comply with Indiana securities law. RBC has agreed to require its staff to obtain the necessary licenses and comply with state registration requirements. It has also enhanced its computerized order entry system to automatically validate the person entering the order is properly registered to sell securities in the state where the client lives....

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Alicia Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act Passes House

A bill that would give the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department of the Army the authority to disinter veterans buried in national cemeteries who committed a federal or state capital crime passed the US House of Representatives today and now heads to the President's desk for his signature. Indiana US Senators Dan Coats and Joe Donnelly, along with Indiana Congresswoman Susan Brooks, applauded the passage of the Alica Dawn Koehl Respect for National Cemeteries Act, which passed the Senate in November. Under the legislation, the VA would have the authority it needs to exhume the remains of Michael Anderson, a veteran buried at Fort Custer National Cemetery in Michigan. Anderson shot and killed Indianapolis resident Alicia Dawn Koehl last year before committing suicide....

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Pence, Sebelius Discussions Continue on HIP

Gov Mike Pence
Indiana Governor Mike Pence today says he is working to schedule a meeting in February with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius regarding his request to meet in person to discuss Indiana's pending waiver to expand the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP, as an alternative to the traditional medicaid model. Indiana submitted a waiver request in February seeking both an extension of the current plan and permission to purse expansion of health coverage using the Healthy Indiana Plan as a model. An extension of the current plan was granted in September. Earlier this week, the state announced they were extending the Healthy Indiana Plan for more than ten-thousand current members through the end of April 2014 to provide more time to obtain new healthcare coverage through the federal marketplace. ...

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Hoosiers Encouraged to Enroll for Health Care by 12/23

Indianapolis, Ind.  – Uninsured Hoosiers have less than two weeks to meet an important deadline with the federal Health Insurance Marketplace. The Indiana Hospital Association, the Indiana Primary Health Care Association and Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, Inc. are encouraging those in need of coverage starting on Jan. 1, 2014 to apply through the program operated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) before Dec. 23.
Since launching in October, the Health Insurance Marketplace has allowed eligible Hoosiers to compare health insurance options and enroll in a plan that meets both their needs and their budget. The six-month open enrollment period for the first year of this program runs from Oct.1, 2013 through March 31, 2014. However, in order for an individual to be covered on Jan. 1, they must sign up and make the first payment to a qualified health plan by Dec. 23. Hoosiers will still be able to enroll through the end of March, but many health care organizations across the state are encouraging Hoosiers not to wait.
“If there is anyone who has put off looking at their options, now is the time to check out the Marketplace,” said David Roos, Executive Director of Covering Kids and Families of Indiana, Inc. “Much improvement has been made to the website and there are many community events scheduled by providers and community organizations across the state to help people through the process.” To find a list of some of the events scheduled, Hoosiers can access  http://www.ckfindiana.org/calendar.
“Community health centers have employed and trained more than 100 navigators, all of whom are available throughout the state to assist Hoosiers in selecting the right option for themselves and their families,” said Philip Morphew, CEO of the Indiana Primary Health Care Association.
“Having insurance coverage is essential to an individual’s or family’s financial security, but it is also essential for improving the overall health status of our communities,” said IHA President Doug Leonard. “Helping to cover more of our patients and provide them access to preventative services will bend the long-term health care cost curve for everyone.”
Approximately 880,000 Hoosiers under the age of 65 do not have health insurance. Marketplace eligibility is generally available to middle-income people under age 65 who are not covered for health care benefits through their employer, Medicaid or Medicare. All plans must cover doctor visits, hospital stays, preventive care and prescriptions, and no one can be denied coverage if they have a pre-existing condition. Low-cost plans and financial help is available to Hoosiers based on annual income through tax credits.
To enroll in the Indiana Health Insurance Marketplace, or for more information and assistance from a certified individual, Hoosiers can access healthcare.gov....

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Five Arrested as Lake Station Police Bust Alleged Meth Lab

meth lab in Lake Station
(Photo Courtesy of the Lake Station Police Department)
Five individuals in Lake Station were taken into custody early this morning in conjunction to a narcotic investigation after a search warrant was executed in the 33-hundred block of Arizona Street. Lake Station Police report a multi-month investigation was recently conducted where undercover officers made several controlled purchases of methamphetamine from the residence. Police report during the search it was confirmed the residence was being used as a “meth lab” and allege the subjects are responsible for supplying meth to several other communities, some as far away as Newton and Jasper Counties. The case is anticipated to be presented to the Lake County Prosecutor's Office tomorrow. ...

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I-65 NB Between SR 10 and SR 114 Backed Up

Traffic-Alert
Traffic tipsters reporting northbound I-65 traffic at a near standstill, between State Road 10 and State Road 114. The southbound lanes of I-65 in that vicinity are clear, but at this time avoid northbound I-65, from State Road 10 to State Road 114 until after 3:30pm. Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post report a semi rolled over and crews are in the process of up-righting the semi. No further information is available at this time....

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