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Cedar Lake Improvements Planned for 2014

Infrastructure growth will be a focal point in Cedar Lake in 2014. During a recent Region Newsmakers interview, Cedar Lake Town Council President Randy Niemeyer says capital projects include the east side 133rd Avenue reconstruction, from Morse to Fairbanks Streets, which kicks off this spring. "It's an in-house funded project funded by our TIF district," Niemeyer said.  The pavement then from Fairbanks to Colfax, he said, will be completed . "Our entrance to the east side of Cedar Lake will be complete and it'll be beautiful. Our west side second phase of 133rd Avenue reconstruction from Industrial Boulevard to US 41 is going to be underway in the Spring and should be will be substantially completed by the end of October with all-new stormwater and sewer infrastructure and new pavement, a three-lane road."  The new three lanes of 133rd Avenue, from Morse to Fairbanks, are anticipated to be completed by the 4th of July. To hear more of our Region Newsmakers interview with the Cedar Lake Town Council President, visit Region Newsmakers here at our website.  ...

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Michigan Man Killed on Interstate 94

Overnight, Indiana State Police say a man from Sawyer, Michigan, was killed when he stepped out in front of an oncoming car on I-94 in Porter County. Troopers say a preliminary investigation revealed that at about 1:15 am, 36-year-old Bradley Miner for unknown reasons parked his Jeep Wrangler on the shoulder of the expressway at the 29 mile marker, which is just east of the westbound truck scales, and stepped out in front of a car traveling in the middle lane. Police say Miner was pronounced dead at the scene and the motorist, a 25-year-old Gary man, was uninjured. The right, middle and entrance ramp to the scales were closed until approximately 4-o'clock this morning. ...

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Gary Police Investigating Homicide

Police in Gary are investigating a homicide. The Lake County Coroners office says 24-year-old Trammel Harper of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds at 22nd and Georgia and was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 9:30 Friday night. ...

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Influenza Cases Up in Indiana, Illinois

Cases of influenza have taken a jump in Indiana and Illinois. Flu activity is considered regional across both states, and that's just one step below what the Centers for Disease Control categorizes as widespread. In Chicago, the city's public health department says the predominant circulating strain is influenza A H1N1, the so-called swine flu strain that triggered a nationwide pandemic in 2009.
http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/cdph/H1N1_swine_flu/FluUpdate/FluUpdateWeek5112272013.pdf...

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Help From Public Sought to Find Missing Woman

paula palo
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 59 year old woman under treatment for mental illness for the last two-years has been missing since the first week of December and family members are seeking help in locating her. The Times reports Paula Palo left her residential unit at Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living on December 8th and has been without her medication ever since. Anyone with information on her whereabouts is asked to contact Gary Police at (219) 881-1214. A description of the woman has not yet been made available. ...

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Unemployment Benefits End for Over 1.3 Million Saturday

Unemployment benefits expire tomorrow for Americans who've been out of work for more than six months. ABC News reports during a five minute session of the House Thursday, Democratic whip Steny Hoyer complained Republicans left town, allowing benefits to expire for more than 1-point-3 million people, calling it a moral outrage and another congressionally-inflicted blow to our economy.  Democrats argue congress has always extended unemployment benefits, when so many people have been out of work for so long. Republicans may be open to a retroactive extension, but only if it's coupled with cuts elsewhere in the budget....

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Senator Rogers: Stop the Pettiness, Focus on Education

E Rogers
Governor, state board must end pettiness, focus on early learning 
By State Senator Earline Rogers (D-Gary)
In the 38 years I spent at the front of a classroom, I’ve undoubtedly seen this type of behavior before. Not getting what they want, a student chooses to sulk and do everything in their power to disrupt what’s going on around them. It’s expected from grade-schoolers. It’s something else altogether to witness this childish behavior from the “adults” in Indianapolis when it is at the detriment of Hoosier students.
In 2012, Hoosiers rallied behind then candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz, electing her over her opponent, with more votes statewide than the governor himself received. Since then, Superintendent Ritz has faced attempts from this administration to dilute her constitutionally-mandated office and obstruct her vision for Indiana education policy. Hoosiers made it clear they were fed up with the previous administration’s assault on local control and attitude that Indianapolis knows best when it comes to overseeing the direction of our schools. Ritz has shifted the focus back to students, parents and teachers by strengthening the connection and upping the dialogue between her Department of Education (DOE) and our schools.
Instead of focusing on kids, there has been a return to theheavy-handed policies Hoosiers soundly rejected. At a time when the state’s agencies have been asked to tighten their belts by $75 million, the administration created a new agency tasked with deposing Ritz’s Department of Education. Of the Center for Education and Career Innovation’s 16 staffers, six make more than $100,000 and the pseudo-agency has been heavily criticized for performing functions already handled by the DOE.
The governor-appointed State Board of Education has displayed a willingness to flat out ignore the will of Hoosiers voters and Indiana statute in their efforts to undercut Ritz. That statute plainly spells out that the superintendent chairs the state board and her agency alone is tasked with calculating schools’ A-F grades. That didn’t stop board members from covertly attempting to have those grades calculated by an outside entity and regularly challenging Ritz’s authority as board chair. 
What’s most upsetting is the willingness to elevate pettiness over policy. Ritz has been an ardent supporter of early childhood education and ensuring Hoosier children arrive in classrooms ready to learn. Instead of focusing on education policy, the administration is caught up in attempting to erase elections results from more than a year ago.
It’s my hope the governor joins Superintendent Ritz, the Senate Democrats and others education stakeholders this upcoming legislative session in embracing the benefits of quality early childhood education.
Sen. Rogers represents Indiana Senate District 3 which encompasses portions of Lake County. District 3 communities include Gary, Lake Station, New Chicago, Hobart, Ainsworth, Merrillville and Crown Point.
For more information on Sen. Rogers, her legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.IN.gov/s3....

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Murder Charge Filed Against Gary Man

A number of charges, including murder, have been filed against a 21 year old man in the death of a Gary resident earlier this month. According to court documents, Mark Cherry, of Gary, is accused of killing 22 year old Rolando Correa at a home in the 62-hundred block of West 29th Avenue, shortly after midnight on December 2nd. Investigators say it was determined that three masked gunmen came to the front door of the residence and tried to get in, then went around to the side door, where they came into contact with one of the occupants of the home. Police say they led him back into the house at gunpoint, a struggle ensued and shots were fired. Four people were shot, including Cherry, authorities say, and a man later identified by the Lake County Coroners Office as 22-year-old Rolando Correa was pronounced dead at approximately 2 am at an area hospital....

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Cook County Sheriff's Office to Begin DUI Patrols Saturday

Cook County Sheriff
The Cook County Sheriff's Office reports they will be conducting significant enforcement efforts during the next two-weeks, focusing on DUI violators and seat belt violations. Sheriff Thomas Dart says the DUI enforcement will begin Saturday night, with extra patrols focusing on seat belt enforcement on January 3rd and 4th. ...

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Target Believes Debit Card PIN #'s Safe and Secure

Target said today customer PIN data was stolen during the holiday shopping data breach. ABC News reports personal identification numbers meant to ensure secure transactions were among the data vacuumed from the magnetic strip of 40 million credit and debit cards. Target said the PIN data is strongly encrypted so it believes debit cards have not been comprised. To be safe some banks limited how much affected customers could withdraw from an ATM or buy with their debit cards but Target said "we remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure." ...

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