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ISP Lifts Travel Restriction for Oversize Loads

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Indiana State Police reports this afternoon they have lifted the Travel Restriction for oversize loads. The restriction was enacted due to poor road conditions as the result of the recent winter storm. State Police say road conditions have significantly improved over the last 24 hours across the state.
At last check, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security's County Travel Status Map shows Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper and Pulaski counties under a travel watch, meaning only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended. Newton and Starke counties remain under a travel advisory, which means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation.  
See Current County Travel Advisory Status here:  http://www.in.gov/dhs/traveladvisory/...

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Businesses/Residents Asked to Clear Snowy Sidewalks

Some Lake County communities are asking residents and businesses to clear snow from sidewalks and bus stops. In Munster, police report Munster businesses must clear snow from sidewalks or citations will be issued for non-compliance.

In Highland, police are asking residents to please clear snow from crosswalks at bus stops and sidewalks on school walk routes. Highland Police report doing so will help keep students from having to walk or wait for the bus in the streets.

The City of Hobart is also requesting residents remove snow from sidewalks and at bus stops and asks residents to remove vehicles from the streets so city crews can continue removing snow.

 

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UPDATE: No Injuries in Liberty Twp House Fire

No one was injured after a home in north central Porter County was damaged by fire early today. Crews got the call around 7:30am for a residential fire in the 200 block of Papillon Drive, not too far south of US 6, in Liberty Township. Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department says several area departments assisted on scene, including South Haven, Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Washington Township, Union Township, Portage and Valparaiso. Officials say there are no hydrants in that subdivision, so a tanker plan was called. The nearest hydrants are on US 6, authorities say, and those were tapped as well. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. ...

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AUDIO/VIDEO: Coats on Income Inequality

coats on senate floor
(Photo Courtesy of Senator Coats' Office)
President Obama recently emphasized addressing income inequality but Indiana US Senator Dan Coats says the President's signature accomplishment, “Obamacare”, is contributing to the problem.   Senator Coats says many Americans are experiencing higher premiums, and outrageous deductibles when they purchase coverage through the Obamacare exchanges.
To view Coats' speech from this morning on the Senator Floor, visit &feature=youtu.be">&feature=youtu.be, or listen at News Audio On Demand at http://regionnewsteam.com/. ...

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Indiana Proposed Gay Marriage Ban Filed

Indiana's controversial marriage amendment is scheduled to be heard in committee Monday. The measure was filed in the Indiana House of Representatives today and is now known officially as House Joint Resolution 3. An amendment has to be approved by two separately-elected General Assemblies, and then by Hoosier voters in a referendum, in order to become part of the state's Constitution. The proposed ban on gay marriage was approved by state lawmakers in 2011, and if approved this session, would go before Indiana voters this November....

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Multiple Depts Respond to Porter County Fire

Fire damages a home in north central Porter County early today. Crews got the call around 7:30 this morning for a residential fire in the 200 block of Papillon Drive not too far south of US 6 in Liberty Township. Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department says several area departments assisted on scene, including South Haven, Burns Harbor, Chesterton, Washington Township, Union Township, Portage and Valparaiso. Officials say there are no hydrants in that subdivision, so a tanker plan was called. The nearest hydrants are on US 6, authorities say, and those were tapped as well. No information was available at this time on whether there were any injuries. Cause of the fire is not yet known. ...

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Hearing Over New Maps Rescheduled Due to Storm

A hearing that was set for this past Tuesday January 7 on a lawsuit filed over Porter County's new redistricting plan was canceled due to the weather, and LaPorte County court officials tell the Region News Team it was rescheduled for this Monday [January 13] at 9 am. Earlier this month, the Porter County Board of Commissioners approved a new map that resulted in removing current 2nd District Councilman Jeremy Rivas from his district. The four redrawn districts are all on the ballot this year.  The newly-drawn lines, the board said, shrink population differences between districts, as per a state law requiring the populations to be as equal as possible.  Attorney Edward Hearn filed the suit on behalf of five plaintiffs, including Rivas.  The suit alleges that two districts are no longer contiguous as required by state law.  ...

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Election Season Begins in the Region

Dozens of political hopefuls, including several incumbents, traveled to the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point to do the necessary paperwork to be on the ballot this May. Filing for this year's primary election in Indiana opened on Wednesday and continues through noon February 7th. In Porter County, first to file was Democrat Sylvia Graham. Graham, currently an at-large county council member, is running for the Center District seat on the Board of Commissioners. Second to file in Porter County was Republican County Coroner Chuck Harris, who is seeking re-election. 
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Three Children Killed in Hammond House Fire

hammondfirekb

The Lake County Coroners office has released the names of three young children killed in a house fire in the 600 block of Sibley Street in Hammond overnight. Coroners officials say seven-month-old Jayden Young, three-year-old Alexia Young, and four-year-old Dasani Young were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight this morning. Cause of death was listed as burns to the body and manner of death was pending investigation. The scene of the fire on Sibley is between Sohl and Calumet Avenues on the northwest side of Hammond.
Fire officials think space heaters being used in a house that had no heat may have been in factor in the fatal fire, but a cause has not yet been determined.

Officials say the children's father suffered third-degree burns and was in critical condition at a Chicago hospital after rescuing two of his other children, two boys ages five and seven, who were also said to be listed as critical. Fire crews were called out just before 10:30 last night, and when they arrived flames were reportedly coming out of the house.
[Photo/Karl Berner]...

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3 Children Die in Fire, 2 Others and Father Injured

hammond fire ss
The Lake County Coroners office has released the names of three young children killed in a house fire in the 600 block of Sibley Street in Hammond overnight. Coroners officials say seven-month-old Jayden Young, three-year-old Alexia Young, and four-year-old Dasani Young were pronounced dead at the scene shortly after midnight this morning. Cause of death was listed as burns to the body and manner of death was pending investigation. The scene of the fire on Sibley is between Sohl (sole) and Calumet Avenues on the northwest side of Hammond.
Fire officials think space heaters being used in a house that had no heat may have been in factor in the fatal fire, but a cause has not yet been determined.
Officials say the children's 28-year-old father suffered third-degree burns and was in crititical condition in the burn unit at a Chicago hospital after rescuing two of his other children, ages five and seven, who were also reportedly listed as critical. Fire crews were called out just before 10:30 last night, the house reportedly engulfed in flames. The three children who died were reportedly all found within six feet of the front door, which was barricaded, according to officials, and crews had to remove the hinges to get inside. ...

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