I-65 Near Lowell Blocked

715am -- Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post say they're at the scene of a serious crash, possibly involving one-two semis and passenger car, on northbound Interstate 65. at mile marker 240, just south of Lowell exit State Road 2, all northbound lanes are closed and traffic is being diverted at State Road 10.  No other information was available about the crash.  The accident happened just after 6 am CDT.
Officials say an earlier semi fire on southbound 65,  around 230a,  has one lane blocked at mile marker 237; the right side is blocked as crews continues to clear that scene.
Both of these incidents are north of the Kankakee River.
There is also roadwork at State Road 2 and southbound I-65

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Salad Mix Suspected in Stomach Bug

The number of cases is edging closer to four-hundred, with four possible in Illinois, but none so far reported in Indiana, in a stomach bug outbreak that's sickened people across fifteen states. Health departments in Nebraska and Iowa are attributing it to a pre-washed mixed salad product that contained iceberg lettuce, romaine lettuce, red cabbage and carrots, but they're not releasing the name of the product, and say it's no longer on shelves.  Lamar Hasbrouck of the Illinois Department of Public Health explains the rare hazard, described as a tropical stomach bug, is "not a virus, it's not a bacteria, it's a parasite; cyclospora. It's typically in stool, fecal matter."  The Centers for Disease Control says the case count is up to 372, reported by sixteen health departments and NYC: Iowa, Texas, Nebraska,  Florida, Wisconsin, Illinois, New York City, Georgia, Missouri, Arkansas, Connecticut, Kansas, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.

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Equipment Maybe Available Next Week to Check Mt. Baldy

Equipment to determine why a section of Mt. Baldy collapsed last month burying a six year old Illinois boy might be available next week. Meanwhile, Mt. Baldy beach, trails, and parking area remain closed to the public. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore officials are looking into the possibility a buried tree may have caused the sand to swallow up the child, who is believed to have survived due to an air pocket. Nathan Woessner was released from a children's hospital on Friday, two-weeks to the day he was buried in the sand for almost four-hours on July 12th.
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Dentist from LaPorte Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

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(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 30 year old LaPorte dentist was arrest Monday evening for possession of heroin with intent to distribute. Portage Police report they pulled over Benjamin Porter's vehicle for speeding, after an officer noticed his vehicle weaving through eastbound traffic on I-80, just west of the Portage Toll barrier. Police say Porter reportedly admitted to possessing heroin in his vehicle, after he was informed an officer was en-route with a canine to check his vehicle, after initially denying a search of his vehicle.
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ISP Lowell Post Hiring for Regional Dispatch Operator

Indiana State Police logo
The Indiana State Police Region I Dispatch Center in Lowell is accepting applications for a Telecommunications Operator position.

To qualify, applicants must be high school graduates or possess the equivalent GED and be able to successfully pass written and typing tests (30 words per minute) prior to interviewing. They must also obtain two certifications with the first six months.

Those interested should be able to:

•Work on several tasks simultaneously in a busy and noisy environment
•Remain seated for long periods of time
•Remain calm during emergency situations
•Work rotating or multiple shifts, requiring weekends and/or holidays
Benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, retirement plans, and accrued leave.


To serve as a civilian employee of the Indiana State Police whose primary responsibility is to receive, collate, record, disseminate and accurately dispatch information to Department police personnel, other law enforcement agencies and other support services through the use of a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, Records Management System (RMS), Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL), Geographical Information System (GIS) and other Regional Dispatch Center resources.

Interested persons must apply online at by 3:30 p.m. Monday, August 5th, 2013.

Applicants must be able to successfully pass a background investigation, and are asked to submit a full work history, copies of high school transcript or GED certificate, and college transcripts, technical certificates and a DD214 (if applicable).
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Judge Ends Indiana's Fight Against Planned Parenthood

Indiana's two-year legal battle to deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions is over. A judge today issued a permanent injunction barring the state from preventing Medicaid enrollees from accessing health care at clinics operated by the group. In May, the US Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from Indiana regarding the case.
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Wings of Freedom at Porter County Regional Airport

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Mike Prentiss, Valparaiso Tour Stop Coordinator in front of the B-24 Liberator aircraft named "Witchcraft"

The Collings Foundation 24th Annual "Wings of Freedom" tour wraps up it's visit at noon on Wednesday, July 31st at the Porter County Regional Airport just east of State Road 49 and off of US-30 in Valparaiso.

Mike Prentiss, Tour Stop Coordinator for Valparaiso says the mission of the Collings Foundation is to "preserve our history by keeping historic aircraft flying around the country."

Prentiss says that the foundation possess about two dozen aircraft, ranging from the early days of aviation all the way up to the Vietnam era with supersonic jets.  "The most popular aircraft that the foundation operates is the 'WIngs of Freedom Tour' aircraft consisting of the B-17 'Flying Fortess, the B-24 Liberator and the P-51 Mustang."

That particular group of aircraft stops at about 110 cities a year and at each location the foundation offers flight experiences and walk-through tours.  Prentiss says visiting Valparaiso is special as Bob Collings, founder of the foundation is from the Region and graduated from Valparaiso High School in 1956.

The tour's final day for this years visit is from 9 a.m. to noon on Wednesday, after which the "wings of Freedom Tour" lifts off at 1:00 p.m. for a stop in Kankakee, Illinois.

For more information about the Collings Foundation log onto:

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The three WWII era aircraft on the tarmac at Porter County Regional Airport on Tuesday, July 30th from left to right, P--51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortess and B-24 Liberator

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Visitors tour the B-17 Flying Fortress, one of the three WWII era from the Collings Foundation, "Wings of Freedom Tour" at Porter County Regional Airport

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P-51 Mustang WWII era fighter escort looking into the cockpit that features dual flight controls

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B-24 Liberator "Witchcraft" at Porter County Regional Airport, Tuesday, July 30th  

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The 24th Annual "Wings of Freedom Tour" final day in Northwest Indiana is from  9 a.m. to  12 noon, Wednesday, July 31st at the Porter County Regional Airport, Valparaiso.

(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)


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National Sex Trafficking Sting Yields 359 Arrests

Cook County Sheriff
A coalition of federal and local law enforcement agencies led by the Cook County Sheriff's Office wrapped up a sting operation Sunday that led to the arrests of 323 would-be sex solicitors and 36 pimps across 17 states. Sheriff Thomas Dart made the announcement today, stating his department recovered three victims, the most of any jurisdiction, including two juveniles, ages 15 and 17. Other area agencies who participated included the Lake County Sheriff's Office and the Gary Police Department.
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NFIB Says President's Proposal Leaves Out Small Business

Indianapolis (July 30, 2013) -- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) today reacted to news that President Obama would pitch a “grand bargain” with Congress, under which corporate tax cuts would be coupled with federal spending projects as a way to spur economic growth.
“More than ninety percent of employers in Indiana are small businesses and most of them pay the individual income tax,” said NFIB State Director Barbara Quandt.  “We like that the President sees the need to cut business taxes but this proposal would exclude most businesses in Indiana.”
At an event today in Tennessee, the President asked Congress to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent and create a special 25-percent rate for manufacturing.  The United States imposes a higher corporate tax than most of the rest of the world, a burden that many experts believes creates an incentive for corporations to create jobs overseas and keep their profits off shore.
“In the past year there has been a growing consensus in Washington and on Wall Street that we need corporate tax reform,” said Quandt.  “We don’t disagree, but that’s not comprehensive reform.  It helps the biggest, most profitable corporations but it excludes the Main Street businesses that provide a majority of jobs in the United States.”
NFIB last week announced a coalition of business groups focused on reducing the effective tax rate – the amount in taxes that businesses actually pay – instead of the usual debates in Washington over brackets. 
“What we really need is a top-to-bottom overhaul of the entire system to make taxes lower, flatter and fairer,” said Quandt.  “The current system picks winners and losers.  Under the President’s plan, multinational corporations and manufacturers would be winners but most small businesses wouldn’t get relief.  What we need is a climate in which all businesses can grow and create jobs and that means cutting the effective tax rate for everyone.”
For more information about NFIB, please visit
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Pence Establishes Office of State-Based Initiatives

Gov Mike Pence
Indianapolis – Among attendees of today’s Evansville Rotary Club luncheon, Governor Mike Pence kicked off “Hoosier Solutions Week” and signed Executive Order 13-20, which transforms the existing Office of Federal Grants and Procurement into the Office of State-Based Initiatives (OSBI).
Governor Pence is spending this week talking to Hoosiers across the state about finding Hoosier solutions to the problems caused by Washington, D.C. and the federal government.  In 2012, the federal government collected $51.2 billion from Hoosier taxpayers and businesses.  This year, forty-nine state departments and agencies will receive almost 20 percent of that money in the form of federal grants, stipends, and programs that often come with expensive, burdensome mandates and regulations that stifle ingenuity, cost Hoosier taxpayers, and hamstring Hoosier businesses.
“I’ve long held the belief that Hoosiers hold the key to releasing Indiana from federally-created mandates and regulations that undermine state sovereignty and hinder economic growth,” said Governor Pence. “With the assistance of the Office of State-Based Initiatives, Indiana will work to untangle itself from burdensome federal policies, seek to increase state innovation, and ultimately strive to persuade the federal government to return to the principles of federalism.”
The OSBI will be tasked with coordinating with state agencies to perform a cost-benefit analysis on every federal grant opportunity; ensuring each agency has a block grant contingency plan; tracking the costs of federal regulations by studying data, surveying businesses, and talking to Hoosiers; and publishing an annual study of these costs and sharing it with Indiana’s Congressional Delegation.
In his speech, Governor Pence said that by quantifying the costs of federal regulations and informing Congress about them, the OSBI “will help, over the long run, reduce federal regulatory burdens on state and local governments, taxpayers and Hoosier businesses.”
Hoosier Solutions Week runs through Thursday, August 1st.
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