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Crash Backing up Traffic Westbound Borman


12-10-13 WB 80-94 crash
Traffic is backing up westbound Borman (I-80/94) as INDOT is reporting the three right westbound lanes are closed near the state line due to a crash (above photo).  Drivers can expect all westbound lanes backing up from Cline Avenue.  traffic eastbound on I-80/94 can expect a gaper slowdown from about the Bishop Ford due to the westboudn crash.

12-10-13 Wb 80-94 crash 2
(Westbound traffic on the Borman (I-80-94) backing up due to crash blocking 3 right lanes near the state line.  the backup begins at Cline Avenue)

 

(photos: INDOT)

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E-911 Approved by Lake County Officials

E-911
The E-911 consolidation agreement for Lake County was approved today. Lake County Commissioners unanimously approved the measure following a 4-to-2 vote in favor of the pact by the Lake County Council. The inter-local agreement merges 17 police and fire dispatch centers into a single county-wide communications network, as mandated by state law. The next step in the progress is for communities that operate independent fire and police dispatch to approve the same agreement. ...

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NIPSCO Donates $5,000 to Lake County Salvation Army

NIPSCO Check to SA
(Photo Courtesy of the Salvation Army of Lake County)
Last week, the Salvation Army of Lake County reported red kettle donations were down by 32 percent compared to this same time a year ago, today they announced NIPSCO, along with their partners at Helping Hands, donated five-thousand dollars to help needy families throughout Lake County. The iconic red kettles have been on the streets and at shopping centers since November 8th, with the goal of raising 940-thousand dollars to fund the emergency and social services provided during the holiday season and throughout the year.
The Lake County Salvation Army is also hosting the 'I Double Dog Dare You' bell ringing challenge, which allows groups, families and individuals to volunteer as bell ringers the week of December 16 - 21. The top ringer from each of the three categories will be announced Christmas Eve and will receive special recognition at the annual Spring Volunteer Luncheon. To sign up, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
To make a donation by mail, please send to
  • The Salvation Army Lake County, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321, 219-838-1328

For more information on how to volunteer, please contact The Salvation Army closest to you:
  • East Chicago, 513 W. Chicago Ave., East Chicago, IN 46312, 219-398-2939
  • Gary-Merrillville, 4800 Harrison, Gary, IN 46408, 219-887-6588
  • Hammond-Munster, 8225 Columbia Ave, Munster, IN 46321

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Tips for Safe Walking in Snow and Ice to Avoid Falls

snow and ice managment Assoc
Every winter the hazards of driving in the snow and icy conditions are noted, but not often is walking on snow and ice addressed. The Snow and Ice Management Association, or SIMA, the North American trade association representing snow removal professionals, has put together safety tips to help prevent you from falling while walking on snow and ice, which they say accounts for a large number of winter-related injuries that can have an impact on your quality of life.
SIMA, the national nonprofit organization representing the snow removal industry, has some tips on safe winter walking.
  • TIP #1: Wear proper footwear. Proper footwear should place the entire foot on the surface of the ground and have visible treads. Avoid a smooth sole and opt for a heavy treaded shoe with a flat bottom.
  • TIP #2: Accessorize to see and be seen. Wear sunglasses so that you can see in the reflective light of the snow. Also, wear a bright coat or scarf so that drivers can easily see you.
  • TIP #3: Plan ahead. While walking on snow or ice on sidewalks or in parking lots, walk consciously. Instead of looking down, look up and see where your feet will move next to anticipate ice or an uneven surface. Occasionally scan from left to right to ensure you are not in the way of vehicles or other hazards.
  • TIP #4: Make sure you can hear. While seeing the environment is important, you also want to be sure you can hear approaching traffic and other noises. Avoid listening to music or engaging in conversation that may prevent you from hearing oncoming traffic or snow removal equipment.
  • TIP #5: Anticipate ice. Be weary of thin sheets of ice that may appear as wet pavement (black ice). Often ice will appear in the morning, in shady spots or where the sun shines during the day and melted snow refreezes at night.
  • TIP #6: Walk steps slowly. When walking down steps, be sure to grip handrails firmly and plant your feet securely on each step.
  • TIP #7: Enter a building carefully. When you get to your destination such as school, work, shopping center, etc., be sure to look at the floor as you enter the building. The floor may be wet with melted snow and ice.
  • TIP #8: Be careful when you shift your weight. When stepping off a curb or getting into a car, be careful since shifting your weight may cause an imbalance and result in a fall.
  • TIP #9: Avoid taking shortcuts. Shortcuts are a good idea if you are in a hurry, but may be a bad idea if there is snow and ice on the ground. A shortcut path may be treacherous because it is likely to be located where snow and ice removal is not possible.
  • TIP #10: Look up. Be careful about what you walk under.  Injuries also can result from falling snow/ice as it blows, melts, or breaks away from awnings, buildings, etc.
Following these tips will help ensure that you survive the snow and ice season safely. For more snow and ice removal tips, visit SIMA....

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Donnelly on Five Year Anniversary of Auto Rescue

donnely at auto
(Photo Courtesy of Senator Donnelly's Office)
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly held a conference call with Indiana media to discuss the progress seen in Indiana's auto manufacturing industry since the auto rescue five-years ago. Senator Donnelly says in early 2008, the state's automotive employment was at about 102-thousand workers and by June 2009, that number had dropped by 30-thousand due to the economic downturn. Donnelly says since the assistance was given to automakers there has been a rebirth in auto manufacturing in Indiana with over 100-thousand employees. Donnelly, who supported the auto bailout, says Chrysler has since invested almost two-billion dollars in Indiana, General Motors has added almost half a billion dollars and Honda, Subaru and Toyota continue to grow and invest in Indiana as well.
Last week, Senator Donnelly visited seven auto manufacturing facilities around Indiana to recognize the hard work of Hoosiers.  He visited GM plants in Fort Wayne, Marion, and Bedford, visited a Toyota plant in Princeton, a Honda plant in Greensburg, a Subaru plant in Lafayette, and a Chrysler plant in Kokomo....

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Winter Weather Advisory Wednesday from 12am-10am

national weather service
The National Weather Service in Chicago has issued a Winter Weather Advisory from midnight until 10am CST Wednesday. Officials report total snow accumulation of around two to four inches can be expected and may result in treacherous traveling conditions for the Wednesday morning rush hour. ...

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Indiana Extends HIP Benefits Through April

The state is temporarily extending the Healthy Indiana Plan for more than ten-thousand current members through the end of April 2014 to provide more time to obtain new health coverage through the federal marketplace. Indiana's Family and Social Services Administration says many Healthy Indiana members have faced difficulties with the Obamacare website, healthcare-dot-gov. The extension is for those who will no longer qualify for Healthy Indiana due to lower eligibility standards.
Additional information from FSSA:
The HIP members impacted are those between 100-200 percent of the federal poverty level who will no longer qualify for the Healthy Indiana Plan due to lower eligibility standards set forth in the Healthy Indiana Plan waiver authorized by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The new discontinuation date for these HIP members is April 30, 2014. FSSA Secretary Debra Minott requested this temporary extension in early November.
“We have a responsibility to assist Healthy Indiana Plan enrollees during this transition period,” said Minott. “The fact of the matter is the health plans HIP members were told would be available starting in October have proven difficult to access due to the federal marketplace’s well-documented technical issues. This extension provides additional time for these Hoosiers to remain on their HIP plans while they complete their enrollment and gain coverage through the marketplace.”
Governor Mike Pence announced in September that CMS had agreed to allow Indiana a one-year extension to continue to offer the innovative, consumer-driven Healthy Indiana Plan through 2014. During the discussions leading up to the extension, Pence administration officials and CMS officials mutually agreed that, in order to avoid duplication of efforts to cover individuals over 100 percent of the federal poverty level, HIP should focus exclusively on those Hoosiers who are beneath this income threshold. Individuals below the poverty line are not eligible for premium tax credits under the Affordable Care Act. The federal government’s position was that those over the federal poverty line could be covered under new subsidized federal policies through Obamacare. As a result of this agreement, approximately 20,000 more low-income Hoosiers will have health coverage in 2014. Indiana currently serves roughly 35,000 Hoosiers through HIP.
In early November, Secretary Minott expressed concerns to CMS about the technical difficulties HIP members may be facing in trying to obtain federal health exchange plans by January 1. Because of these technical issues, FSSA and CMS agreed to allow these HIP members more time to transition to other health coverage. This agreement is necessary because the State of Indiana cannot unilaterally change the terms of a CMS demonstration project waiver. 
The decision to extend HIP benefits while members roll onto federal plans could cost the state up to $11 million, which will be paid from the Healthy Indiana Plan trust fund.
“We still urge these Hoosiers to take action now to enroll in a health plan that will cover them in 2014,” added Minott. “The federal marketplace will require an application and payment long before the end of April. Also, the plans available on the marketplace all have annual deductibles which will start in January. It will help Hoosiers in the long run if they begin paying on their annual marketplace plan deductibles sooner rather than later.”

FSSA is reaching out by mail to all the HIP members expected to transition off HIP letting them know about the temporary extension and transitioning to the federal marketplace, and is encouraging them to call the Healthy Indiana Plan at 1-877-GET-HIP9 for help.

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Two Officers Among 3 Transported After Fiery Incident

Authorities say two officers with the Porter County Sheriffs Police Department were among three people taken to area hospitals this morning after a fiery incident near Hebron. Police say a 48-year-old Hobart firefighter on leave after police allege he threatened his wife with a gun last month allegedly drove his van into their Hebron-area home this morning, and crews responded to put out fire that broke out involving the vehicle and the house. Multiple departments responded. Police say John Wall was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with severe burns to his face and hands. Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says the two officers transported to an area hospital were inside the house investigating a battery complaint and taking a report when the incident occurred. No information was available at this time on the officers' conditions. There are no reports of injuries to the man's wife....

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A Christmas To Remember

This Sunday over 100 kids will have Christmas come early as part of the Lake County Police Association's A Christmas To Remember. Union President Daniel Murchek says the chosen kids and their families will be treated to a shopping day at the Merrillville Meijer with local law enforcement. They will be able to pick out a toy valued around $40, and must spent the rest of the money on essentials like clothing. This year's participants will also be treated to lunch at Outback Steakhouse.
For more on a Christmas to Remember, listen to our full interview with Union President Murchek On Demand here on our website....

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E Porter Co Students Honored for Perfect ISTEP Scores

A full house at Monday night's East Porter County School Board meeting -- about fifty people were there as a special celebration was held December 9 for twelve students from across the school corporation who had perfect scores on ISTEP. The students were recognized by the board and received a certificate, East Porter County water bottle, and $25 gift card to Barnes & Noble.  Cake and punch were served to the students and their family members.  "Celebrating these students' accomplishments is always the highlight of the school year," said Superintendent Dr. Rod Gardin.  Dr. Gardin asked the students how they were able to do so well, and they all had different answers that included teachers, parents, their own hard work.  Dr. Gardin said he summarized for them that it sounded like their achievement took a combination of efforts.
Listed below are the students who received perfect scores (the student's teacher's name is in parentheses after student's name)
3rd grade – Math
Kouts
Liam Combs (Aaron Crague)
Lyndsey Kobza (Christine Paluch)
4th grade – Math
Kouts
Breanna Carlson (Julie Miller)
Hannah Fields  2nd year in  row with a perfect score (Vicki Miller)
Hunter Kneifel (Julie Miller)
Parker Kneifel 2nd year in a row with a perfect score (Julie Miller)
Kaitlyn Reasoner (Julie Miller)
Morgan
Bram Arnett (Mary Riffer)
4th grade – E/LA [English/Language Arts]
Morgan
Maya Vickrey (Patti Howe)
5th grade - Math
Washington Twp
Valerie Churchill (Randy Roberts)
5th grade – Social Studies
Washington Twp
Jennifer Cahillane (Janine Krieger)
(3rd  year in a row with a perfect score)
6th grade – E/LA [English/Language Arts]
Washington Twp. Middle School
Matthew Sears (Christie Campbell)...

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