Season's Greetings from Governor Mike Pence

Gov Mike Pence
Christmas is a wonderful time of the year, and that is especially true in the Hoosier State. Ever since my youth, Christmas in Indiana has been magical to me, and it still is. It is a time of the year when my present pays special tribute to my past. I cannot come to a Christmas Eve without spending some time thinking of my Dad, gone now 25 years, or my grandparents, whose loving arms and twinkling eyes still light my memories.
Every family has their own traditions, but for the Pences, it will mean church and dinner on Christmas Eve with Karen’s side of the family and Christmas morning opening presents around the tree at the Governor’s Residence with our three college-age kids.
During this special time, we do well to remember that many across our state face this season with heartache. Some have lost a job, some have been out of work for a long time, some have lost a loved one, and others have a son or daughter serving our country in a distant land. For all  of them,  I pray they find hope, comfort and joy in this blessed season. And as we enjoy our families, let’s find ways to share our blessings by being generous with our treasure and time. Let’s make an extra effort to support local charities as they provide for the needs of the most vulnerable within our communities. And let’s remember to personally reach out to that neighbor who needs a helping hand or a word of encouragement. It may be just the gift someone needs most.
On behalf of our family, I wish you and yours a truly memorable holiday season. Merry Christmas, Indiana.
Governor Mike Pence...

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Proposed P3 Airport Terms to be Made Public on 1/13

Preliminary approval was given today by the Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority Board to move forward with the public meeting of ordinances surrounding the proposed privatization terms. Tim Toughy, spokesperson for the public-private partnership committee says the proposed terms will be made public on January 13th, with an opportunity for public comment through January 27th. A public hearing will also take place on January 27th and the board may choose to vote on the matter that day.
The proposed terms were negotiated by the Ad Hoc committee with Aviation Facilities Company Inc., of Virginia, and include an investment of 25 million dollars in the first three years and a minimum 30 percent goal for local workforce participation as well as performance incentives for revenue growth, including profit sharing with the airport and the City of Gary. ...

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Crashes Cause Road Restrictions in Porter County

porter co sheriff dept
Two separate crashes involving extractions have kept Porter County Sheriff's Police busy this afternoon and as a result traffic restrictions were put in place. Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says a three-vehicle crash involving two passenger vehicles and a semi took place on County Road 600 North and State Road 49. Sgt. LaFlower reports northbound traffic on State Road 49 was restricted to one-lane and County Road 600 North traffic is not being allowed to cross State Road 49. No major injuries are being reported.
Meanwhile US 6, between Mander Drive and County Road 350 East in Jackson Township, will be closed until around 6:30pm tonight for crash cleanup after a westbound vehicle crossed the center line for unknown reasons and struck an eastbound semi head-on. Sgt. LaFlower says a 49 year old Wanatah woman had to extricated from her vehicle as a result of the crash, while her 69 year old female passenger also reported an injury. The semi driver was not injured in the crash....

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Head-on Crash Closes Portion of US-6 in Porter County

US-HWY 6 is closed between Mander Rd. and CR-350 E. due to a head-on crash between a semi and another vehicle. Porter County Sheriff's police say drivers should avoid the area for at least the next couple hours. 
Drivers need to avoid US Highway 6 east of Calumet Avenue in Jackson Township this afternoon. Shortly after 2:00 pm CST emergency crews responded to a report of a semi vs another vehicle in a head-on crash on US HWY 6 in Jackson Township.  
Sgt. Larry La Flower of the Porter County Sheriff's Department says at least one extrication was performed and a life flight helicopter was landing in the area. Sgt. La Flower is urges drivers to stay out of the area as the accident scene will be active for some time. Reportedly semi hauling a steel coil lost its load and is leaking diesel fuel as a result Hazmat crews are enroute to the scene. as a result of the crash, US- HW 6 is closed between Mander Dr. and CR-350 E. in Jackson Township.
Also, another crash is being reported in Porter County at State Rd. 49 and County Rd.600 N north of Valparaiso. Drivers need to be alert to arriving emergency vehicles.


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Gold Coin Dropped in Red Kettle in Cedar Lake

gold coin
December 23, 2013 (Chicago) – One 1-ounce 1993 fine gold $50 coin, valued at approximately $1,300, was dropped into a Salvation Army Red Kettle on Friday, December 20, at a Strack and Van Til in Cedar Lake (9605 Lincoln Plaza). Gold coins found in Salvation Army Red Kettles have become a much-anticipated holiday tradition of giving in Chicagoland and northwest Indiana.
In the continuing economic downturn, more and more people are turning to The Salvation Army for help. The Salvation Army in Munster, which includes Cedar Lake, has seen a marked increase in the number of families, individuals and seniors requesting emergency aid for food, largely due to decreases in federal assistance benefits. Food assistance is one of the primary uses for Red Kettle donations, along with emergency rent and utility assistance, after-school programs for youth and drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

Each holiday season, The Salvation Army in Lake County serves more than 11,000 people, provides more than 2,500 food baskets, 8,000 toys and more than 4,000 articles of clothing.

"Donations to red kettles in Lake County Indiana are down by 30 percent compared to this time last year, so a donation as significant as this gold coin really does go a long way toward helping us meet our goal and we're so grateful to our anonymous Secret Santa," said Lt. Betsy Clark of The Salvation Army Hammond-Munster Corps. "This year we had one less week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, so we're trying our best to make up for lost time so that we don't have to make any cuts to the critical social services we provide to people in need all year long."
The philanthropic tradition of dropping gold coins into Salvation Army kettles actually began right here and dates back more than 25 years, when the first gold coin was deposited in McHenry County. Since then, The Salvation Army has received more than 400 gold coins of every type and description from anonymous donors.
The familiar Red Kettles will disappear from the streets on December 24, with a few remaining until January 4. However, the Red Kettle campaign will continue through January 31, 2014. The iconic red kettles and its bell ringers are the heart and soul of the Christmas season and are an integral part of The Salvation Army's Red Kettle Campaign. The Salvation Army receives nearly 70 percent of its yearly donations during the campaign. The funds are used not only to support Christmas programs and services, but to help The Salvation Army serve neighbors in need throughout the entire year. Funds raised will stay in the Lake County community.

For those wishing to donate at their computers, virtual Red Kettles are available on-line. Donors can host a virtual Red Kettle, or sponsor a Red Kettle team, by going to The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division web site at Visitors to the site can register individually, as a group, or a business by completing a simple registration form.

To make a donation by mail, please send to:
The Salvation Army, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321
call 219-838-0380
or visit www.salarmyhammond,org


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Extra Alarm Industrial Fire in Chicago Heights

1 breaking-news
Crews are on the scene of an extra alarm industrial fire at the Trialco Plant in Chicago Heights, which has caused the closure of US 30, between State Street and Cottage Grove Avenue. No further information is available at this time. ...

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Flossmoor Teen Facing an Adult Charge of Murder

The death of a 25-year-old Flossmoor man authorities allege was fatally stabbed by his 15-year-old brother early Friday, marks the first homicide in the south-suburban community in more than thirty years, police say. The suspect, Michael Tigue, is facing an adult charge of murder in the death of Steven Tigue, and is scheduled to appear in court again tomorrow. At the bond hearing Saturday, prosecutors said the teen planned an attack on his older brother because he'd been the victim of bullying. ...

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Peoples Bank to Acquire First Federal Savings Loan

Munster-based Peoples Bank has signed an agreement to acquire First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hammond. First Federal is headquartered on Rimbach Street in downtown Hammond and has a branch on Cline Avenue in Highland. NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, the holding company for Peoples, says Peoples will acquire the assets and liabilities of First Federal in a voluntary merger, pending regulatory approval.
“Peoples Bank is taking a significant step in expanding our community banking franchise and furthering our strategic goals through consolidation,” said David A. Bochnowski, chairman and chief executive officer of Peoples and the Bancorp. “The merging of our two organizations offers opportunities to create operating, investment and managerial synergies while offering First Federal customers a broader menu of traditional and electronic banking products to meet their needs now and in the future,” he added.
John Freyek, president and chief executive officer of First Federal, views the merger as the means to bring together two community banks that share a similar history of local decisionmaking, great customer service and commitment to the communities they serve. “Our goal this past year has been to explore possible relationships that would be meaningful to our customers, employees and the community,” said Freyek. “We’re excited to partner with Peoples and provide our customers access to a full range of deposit, lending and wealth management product and service options while preserving our community banking roots.”...

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Memorial Marker Unveiled for Fallen Trooper

Scott Patrick Memorial
A memorial marker has been placed at the location where Indiana State Police Trooper Scott Patrick of Wheatfield was killed in the line of duty in Gary ten years ago. Police say Patrick was responding to help a stranded motorist at the Grant Street exit of the Borman Expressway on December 22nd, three days before Christmas 2003, when he was fatally shot. The marker was unveiled on a rainy, wet Saturday night this past weekend in a ceremony that included special guest speakers, Indiana State Police Honor Guard and the Scott Patrick family.

Gary State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith filed a naming resolution which was passed by both chambers of the Indiana legislature and resulted in the declaration dated January 13, 2013. Indiana State Police say these efforts were enhanced with the assistance of Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh and INDOT Deputy Commissioner Robert Alderman.   [Left to right: Lieutenant Jerry Williams (Lowell District Commander), Melissa Patrick (widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (son) and Jamie Patrick (brother)/photos Indiana State Police]
The ceremony included the Indiana State Police Honor Guard, the Lake County Pipes and Drums, Indiana State Police Chaplain Coffee, Senior Trooper Geoff Gruber (who was first on scene and wounded Darryl Jeter who was convicted of Scott’s death), Melissa Patrick (Scott’s widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (nine year-old son of Scott) and Jamie Patrick (Scott’s brother).  Patrick's widow was pregnant when he was fatally shot.  The ceremony also marked the tenth anniversary of Trooper Patrick's death.  In 2006, State Road 10 between Wheatfield and DeMotte in Jasper County was dedicated as the Trooper Scott A. Patrick Memorial Highway in his honor.
Darryl Jeter of Chicago was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after being found guilty of murder in Trooper Patrick's death....

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Ind License Branches Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says license branches will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th in observance of the Christmas holiday. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, December 26th.  In addition, license branches will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in observance of New Year's Day. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, January 2nd....

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