Report Shows Impact of Borman Expressway Upgrades

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LAKE COUNTY, Ind. – A joint report published by Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) traffic engineers and Purdue University researchers shows improvements in I-80/I-94 travel speeds upon completion of Borman Expressway widening and reconstruction in September 2011. The 2012 Indiana Mobility Report also ranks congestion on Indiana’s interstates, including increases or reductions in travel time.
The report indicates that Indiana’s transportation infrastructure continues to improve, with most occurrences of significant congestion attributable to construction, severe weather and nonrecurring incidents. Since 2011, congestion on Indiana’s interstate system was reduced by 6 to 18 percent.
Making year-over-year comparisons and studying heavily traveled commuter corridors, such as U.S. 30 in Northwest Indiana, improves upon the 2011 Indiana Interstate Mobility Report, which was recognized last week at the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Annual Meeting in Boston. ITE’s Management & Operations/Intelligent Transportation Systems Council presented INDOT with its 2013 Project Achievement Award. The award recognizes the development or implementation of notable projects that demonstrate the use of Intelligent Transportation Systems technologies to benefit society by improving mobility. 
Third-party data providers such as INRIX collect anonymous speed records from navigation systems, mobile phones and other electronics, and then disseminate this information as traffic alerts on GPS devices or red-yellow-green overlays for online and local media traffic reports. INDOT and Purdue partnered under their Joint Transportation Research Program to analyze billions of anonymous speed records compiled from road segments statewide.
The innovative mobility performance measures are intended as a planning tool to help INDOT and policymakers shape future infrastructure investment priorities, and the measures were presented last week to a joint study committee of the Indiana General Assembly.
In 1937, the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation that led to the formation of what is now known as the Joint Transportation Research Program (JTRP) to facilitate collaboration between INDOT and Purdue University. JTRP research projects help INDOT identify and implement innovation opportunities that solve Indiana’s transportation challenges, and the program has been recognized nationally as a model for interaction between government, academia and industry. More than 1,500 technical reports are available for free through a unique collaboration between JTRP and Purdue Libraries.
The 2012 Indiana Mobility Report and the inaugural 2011 report are available at

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Cook Co Jail Officer Charged in Hammond Homicide

A Cook County Correctional Officer is in the Lake County Jail after an alleged road rage incident left one man dead in Hammond Thursday night.  A 23-year-old East Chicago man was killed.  Hammond Police say the fatal shooting occurred on Indianapolis Boulevard in far north Hammond, and 23-year-old Montrell Moss was pronounced dead at an area hospital less than an hour later. On Saturday, authorities say 61-year-old Edgar Singleton was charged with one count of murder.  The Sheriffs Office in Cook County says the suspect has been de-deputized and the sheriffs office is in the process of terminating his employment.

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Idlebox Available to Region Fleets

South Shore Clean Cities has launched a toolkit called “Idlebox” meant to help companies learn how to reduce the amount of time idling for many vehicles and cut the amount of pollution sent into the air. Executive Director Carl Lisek says IdleBox is a resource that provides information and solutions for light- and medium-duty vehicles typically used in urban-based fleets.  To hear our interview with Lisek visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
"Idlebox includes a variety of tools from the U.S. Department of Energy, such as fact sheets, signs, posters and idling calculators, to help fleets implement idling reduction," said Lisek, who also is an executive at Purdue Research Park-based Legacy Environmental Services.  "Reducing unnecessary idling can be easy to put into practice and often requires no, or little, financial investment."
Idlebox resources are available as ready-to-use print products or customizable templates at the Clean Cities' website, or by contacting South Shore Clean Cities at 219-644-3690. South Shore Clean Cities is an initiative of the Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
The Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center reports that more than 685 million gallons of diesel fuel are wasted annually as heavy-duty trucks idle. With the price of diesel around $4 per gallon, idling costs more than $2 billion each year.
Additionally, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that burning a gallon of diesel fuel produces more than 22 pounds of carbon dioxide, although that total is reduced to about 20 pounds for biodiesel.

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Silver Alert Canceled

Authorities say Indiana Silver Alert #010-2013 issued on August 11, 2013 for Willard F. Farmer has been cancelled as of 7:45 am today EST. This cancellation was requested by the White County Sheriff. Police say Farmer has been located. No other information was released.

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Man's Death Investigated

Hammond, Lake County, Indiana DNR and U.S. Coast Guard officials are investigating the death of an East Chicago man.  The Lake County Coroners office reports 30-year-old Bobby Wilson was pronounced dead just after 5:30 Sunday evening and cause of death was pending.  He reportedly had fallen off a jet ski about an hour earlier.

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Four-Year-Old Boy Hurt in Crash

A four-year-old Gary boy was transported to a local hospital then airlifted to a Chicago hospital after a single-vehicle crash on the Borman Expressway about a mile past Burr Street (7.4 mile marker) early Saturday.  Indiana State Police shortly before 5:30 am, for unknown reasons it appears a minivan went off the south side of the interstate, then re-entered the roadway, turned sideways and rolled twice before coming to rest on its roof. Troopers say the investigation revealed a booster seat was inside, but it was allegedly not properly secured with a seat belt.  The driver, the boy's father, sustained minor cuts in the crash, police said, and was cited for a child restraint violation and operating a vehicle with a suspended license. 

[Photo/Indiana State Police]

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Silver Alert Issued

silver alert
The White County Sheriff is investigating the disappearance of an adult from Chalmers, Indiana. Chalmers Indiana is located approximately 20 miles northeast of Lafayette, Indiana. Willard F. Farmer is a 77 year old white male, 5 feet 10 inches tall, and 160 lbs., with gray hair, and hazel eyes. Willard F. Farmer was last seen at 2:05 pm EST on Sunday August 11, 2013 and is believed to be in danger. Willard F. Farmer was last seen wearing an orange plaid short sleeve shirt, blue pants, possible a blue jacket, and a baseball cap. Willard F. Farmer may be disoriented and require medical attention. He is believed to be driving a 4 door silver 2006 Chevrolet, small size SUV with Indiana plate D745AD.
If you have any information on Willard F. Farmer, contact the White County Sheriff by calling 574-583-7103.

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Hobart Humane Society in Dire Need of Supplies

cat crates
(Photo Courtesy of the Hobart Humane Society)

The Hobart Humane Society reports, overnight on Thursday, someone left 34 cats at their door. Officials report the cats were crammed into 4 crates and were left long enough that they had urinated on each other because there was no place else to go.  The Humane Society is in dire need of supplies to help care for this influx and any help you might be able to provide would be appreciated.  The shelter is open 10-4 Monday through Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday.  Supplies needed include, cat and kitten food (all brown varieties are best to avoid sensitive stomachs), non clumping litter and any old towels for bedding. The phone number is 219-942-0103.
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Over 200 People in Chesterton Turn Out For Photo

Over 200 people lined the sidewalks along the intersection of Broadway and Calumet in Chesterton Friday afternoon for a new panoramic photo, one-hundred years to the date of the first panoramic photograph of downtown Chesterton.  Serena Sutliff, Curator of the Westchester Township Museum, says it was a great opportunity to see how things have changed in one-hundred years and how they've stayed the same.
Sutliff says the original 1913 panoramic photo of the city is always on display in their exhibit area during business hours, Wednesday through Sunday, from 1 to 5pm, and that the new panoramic photo should be available for purchase in the next couple of weeks.
Sutliff says she wants to thank the Chesterton Police Department for running traffic control.
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Griffith PD Swears In Three Probationary Officers

Griffith Officer Swear In
(Photo Courtesy of the Griffith Police Department)

A swearing in ceremony for three probationary police officers took place at the August 8, 2013 Griffith Safety Board meeting, bringing the number of officers for the department up to 29.  The three officers are presently in the Northwest Indiana Law Enforcement Academy located in Hobart.  They will receive 15 weeks of intensive police training at the academy followed by 12 weeks of Field Training provided the Griffith Police Department.
The three officers are:

  • Richard Merschantz, a Highland resident, 28 years of age – Probationary Officer Merschantz is a 2003 graduate of Morton High School and a 2007 graduate of Indiana State University.  Having earned a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Indiana State, Probationary Officer Merschantz previously was employed by the education technology company Blackboard.   Thanks in part to the influence and example demonstrated by Officer Merschantz’s cousin, who is a Chicago Police Officer, Probationary Officer Merschantz was drawn to the law enforcement field and we are enthused to have him join our department.
  • Dalibor “Danny” Lazic – a Schererville resident, 34 years of age - Probationary Officer Lazic is a 1997 graduate of Lake Central High School and a certified precision machinist, who, since 2002, owned and operated Colfax Muffler and Brake in Griffith.  Recognizing his true dream to be a police officer, Probationary Officer Lazic sought and achieved his goal of becoming a police officer for the town he has served for the past 10 years as a businessman.
  • Bradley Johnson – a Hammond resident, 27 years of age - Probationary Officer Johnson is a 2005 graduate of Lake Central High School, a certified auto and diesel mechanic, and an A.B.A.T.E. of Indiana motorcycle riding instructor.  Probationary Officer Johnson is fulfilling his dream by following in his family’s law enforcement footsteps as he is the nephew of retired Griffith Police Lieutenant Don McCarter and is cousin to current Griffith Police Officer Cory McCarter. 

Chief Mance stated that, “These three officers bring a diverse work and life history to the department that will be an asset to them and the town with the perspectives that each bring with them.  They have all worked very hard to be here today and we are fortunate to have them become part of our law enforcement family.” 
Two additional officers are expected to be hired in early 2014 which will bring the department up to a full staff of 31.
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