Wishard Memorial Hospital Closes

Eskenazi Health
In downtown Indianapolis, Wishard Memorial Hospital is closing its doors this morning. Patients and staff are moving to the brand new 754-million dollar Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Health facility two blocks away. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services, the U.S. Naval Reserves, the Indiana National Guard, and multiple ambulance services from throughout Central Indiana and over 300 volunteers are assisting in the transfer.

Hospital officials say Eskenazi Health will be the first new complete public hospital campus relocation in the nation since Chicago’s John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital opened in 2002 to replace Cook County Hospital, and it will be the first time in more than 40 years Indianapolis has seen a new downtown hospital campus. The history of Wishard goes back to 1855 when a smallpox epidemic prompted Indianapolis to begin building a hospital, which opened four years later as City Hospital, and after a couple other name changes, became Wishard Memorial in 1975....

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Veteran Deputy Lake County Prosecutor Passes Away

Veteran Deputy Lake County Prosecutor John Burke has died. Burke, born in Gary, was a retired Deputy Prosecutor with the Lake County Prosecutor's Office, where he served in the Career Criminal Unit for 37 years. Among the high-profile cases Burke prosecuted was that of convicted serial killer Eugene Britt. Burke won an arson-murder conviction in the trial of Steven Allen for a 2005 fire at Tanglewood Apartments in Hammond that killed Allen's wife, infant daughter and a neighbor. Burke was also involved in eight death penalty cases. Burke, who retired in 2011, passed away at his home in Valparaiso Monday. Burke was 66....

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Soup Recalled Due to Undeclared Allergen

The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service says StockPot, Inc., an Everett, Wash. establishment, is recalling 1,864 cases (approximately 22,368 pounds) of chicken noodle soup due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen. The Classic Chicken Noodle Soup product, shipped to distribution centers in Indiana and seven other states, is formulated with wheat, a known allergen.  However, the product was released with a Loaded Baked Potato Style Soup side label, which does not declare this allergen.
The following product is subject to recall:  
24-oz. plastic tub of Wholesome@Home  “Classic Chicken Noodle Soup.” The establishment number “P-18235” is located on the label on the lid.  The products were produced on October 25 and 26, 2013, with a use-by date of February 17 and 18, 2014. The product was shipped to distribution centers in the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Indiana, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. The product was sold at retail only.
The problem was reported by a supermarket employee who noticed the labeling error while stocking shelves. Officials say the problem occurred when a subset of the labels provided by the label printing company were assembled incorrectly.  FSIS and the company have received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products. Anyone concerned about a reaction should contact a healthcare provider.
FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer available to consumers.
Consumers with questions about the recall should contact Susan Baranowsky at 1-866-270-9303. Media with questions about the recall should contact Carla Burigatto, a company media contact, at 856-342-3737.
Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or via smartphone at "Ask Karen" live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET. The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and can be reached from l0 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday through Friday. Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a day at:

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Senators Join Forces to Promote Illiana Expressway

Senator Dan Coats 4 

Indiana U.S. Senator Dan Coats joined Illinois U.S. Senator Mark Kirk Friday morning to highlight the economic benefits of the proposed Illiana Expressway project during a joint press conference by the two Republicans at the Union League Club in Chicago.
According to a press release from Senator Coats' office, both the Illinois and Indiana Departments of Transportation are working together to build the project as a public-private partnership, in which a private contractor would design, build and operate the new roadway.
Senator Coats said that both states are, "demonstrating that regional problems require regional solutions." The senator added, "By partnering together...we can solve some of our region's biggest transportation challenges." He said, "Increasing opportunities to distribute goods made all over Indiana is good for Hoosier job creation and economic growth."
The project would create around 9,000 construction jobs with $1.3 billion in wages over a 30-year period, according to the release. In addition the Illiana Expressway is expected to provide $1 million in daily travel time savings and will help truck traffic bypass the Chicago metropolitan area.

Senator Dan Coats 2
Senator Coats, who later in the day delivered the keynote address at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Regional Meeting in Merrillville (above photo), took the opportunity to talk about his earlier press conference with Senator Kirk saying that it seemed to him that one of the things that can keep predicted growth and a "staggering number of new jobs in the Region" from happening is a "dysfunctional transportation system" by not having an alternative way to move goods other than a congested interstate.
Meanwhile, Senator Kirk echoed the infrastructure of President Abraham Lincoln by pointing out that in order to construct the 2,000 mile transcontinental railroad, Lincoln resourced private railroads to build the tracks in exchange for land rights.

Senator Dan Coats 3
Region News Team speaks with U.S. Indiana Dan Coats after workshop appearance at the Radisson, on his way to deliver the keynote at the Indiana Chamber of Commerce Regional Meeting.

(photos/Jay Stevens)

Facing yet another audience, Senator Coats also talked about the joint press conference when he spoke briefly at a free workshop for small businesses in northwest Indiana titled, "Indiana Get Your Business Online," sponsored by Google and held at the Radisson in Merrillville.


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Audio: IU Northwest Professor On Mandela

Around the world, mourning for former South African President Nelson Mandela, who passed away Thursday at the age of 95. IU Northwest Professor of Communications Dr. Dorothy Ige, along with a former IUN colleague, extensively researched the public speaking style of Mr. Mandela in their most recent book, Public Speaking & Responsibility in a Changing World. Ige says Mandela used spoken word to change a nation.
Mandela ended the policy of racial separation known was apartheid after spending years in jail.  To hear our interview with Dr. Ige, click News Audio On Demand at

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Christmas Tree Display at Lake County Public Library

(Photos Courtesy of the Lake County Public Library)
The Lake County Public Library in Merrillville invites everyone to stop by and view the nine Christmas trees set up now through December 23rd in the Acheff Art Gallery. The trees were decorated by the employees of various branches of the library system representing specific themes and designs including garland made from old encyclopedias, actual processing materials, noses put into books, fish and boats from a lakeside branch, miniature cross-stitch from craft classes, historical trains from a station branch, gingerbread men from program refreshments, and more. While you're there, take some time to view the original SouthShore poster artworks depicting life in Northwest Indiana.
The gallery is open from 2 to 4pm and from 7 to 8pm Monday through Thursday, and from 2 to 4pm on Fridays and Saturdays. ...

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Franciscan St. Anthony-MC Patient Turns 100

Brunner 100
(Photo Courtesy of Franciscan St. Anthony Health- Michigan City)
Cardiac Services staff members at Franciscan St. Anthony Health in Michigan City on Thursday celebrated early the 100th birthday of one of their patients. Ed Brunner, a native New Yorker who has spent the last 11 years in Michigan City, turns one-hundred tomorrow and over the last century Brunner says some highlights including meeting famous celebrities such as Babe Ruth, Bing Crosby, Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra among others. According to the nurses, Brunner still lives independently and is “very sharp” mentally, using email to correspond and still drives. As for the secret to his longevity, Brunner, who was married to his late wife for 63 years, says he drinks a cocktail everyday at 5 o'clock. ...

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Donnelly Calls on Congress to Help, Not Hurt Economy

us senator joe donnelly
Washington, D.C. — In case you missed it, Politico reported today that though our economy is recovering, government dysfunction could continue to threaten economic growth.  According to Politico, Wall Street economists still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor for our economy.
“Washington has tried very hard this year to crush the economy with debt ceiling fights, clumsy budget cuts, a government shutdown and complete legislative gridlock…  In fact, while most Wall Street economists expect growth to pick up in 2014, they still rate government dysfunction as the leading risk factor.” – Politico
Catherine L. Mann, professor of economics at Brandeis University, told Politico, “If there was anything that even looked bipartisan that made it seem like D.C. was less out of touch and trying to work toward some kind of solutions you would see an improvement in growth that would build over the year.  It would probably have very large global benefits as well. But I’d probably put about a 10 percent chance on any of that happening.”
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) has repeatedly voiced this concern, calling for Congress to help, not hurt, the economy.  During the government shutdown, Senator Donnelly ">spoke on the Senate floor in October about the negative impact Congress is having on the U.S. and Hoosier economies.
Donnelly said, “It is embarrassing that the actions of some in Congress these days are now the greatest obstacle to future job creation in our country…
“At a time when Hoosiers are trying to get back to work and take care of our families, Congress’ inability to work together is making it so much more difficult. Congress is not helping and is actually hinderingjob creation and economic growth…
“We must find a way to stop hurting the economy and to actually help the people who have made this country such a great place.”
Donnelly said in October, “I think we need more people focused on what’s best for Indiana, what’s best for our nation, and less about what’s best in politics. This is not about Democrat, this is not about Republican, it’s about America.  That’s what Hoosiers sent me here to do, and that’s what I have tried to do the past few weeks and since my first day in office.”...

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DeMotte Man Sentenced for Possession of Child Porn

A 31 year old DeMotte man was sentenced this week in Hammond Federal Court to over four-years in prison and five-years supervised released after pleading guilty to felony possession of child pornography. According to court documents, Matthew Jasek admitted to possessing over 600 child pornography images and that he distributed some of the material through a file sharing program. The case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U-S Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations. ...

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Lake Station Man Charged in October Armed Robbery

A 38 year old Lake Station man was arrested and charged on Thursday with armed robbery stemming from an incident in October in Porter County's Union Township. Jose Alvarez is accused of using a gun to rob the victim of cash, a cell phone and a bracelet, before driving off and leaving the victim near US 30 and County Road 700 West. Authorities report Alvarez had picked up the victim to take them to purchase a vehicle Alvarez was supposedly interested in purchasing....

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