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Polar Express Storytelling and City Tour of Lights

In Crown Point, the Mayor's Office of Special Events announced today that they are currently taking reservations for Polar Express Storytelling and City Tour of Lights. The story of the Polar Express and bus tours around the city to view and vote on the best decorated houses takes place on Friday, December 13th, but registration is required. Anyone interested in entering their home on the Tour of the Lights route should also contact the city to sign up and winners will be announced at the December 19th City Council Meeting.  Stories will be told at the top of each hour beginning at 5pm with the last story at 8pm. Tour of light busses will depart every hour on the ½ hour beginning at 5:30pm with the last bus tour at 8:30pm.  To register please call (219) 662-3290.  ...

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Four Suspects Arrested in Michigan City Robberies

michigan city police
In Michigan City, four people were arrested on probable cause pending a probable cause hearing, regarding two robberies Wednesday night. Police says the first robbery occurred in the parking lot of Lighthouse Mall and the victim was a 55 year old woman. The second robbery occurred two-hours later in the three-hundred block of South Street where the victim was a pizza delivery driver. Police says a city-wide search began and just after 10:30pm, an officer was able to locate the suspect vehicle in the 41-hundred block of Franklin Street. Through the investigation, police report it was determined that both robberies were committed by the four people in the suspect vehicle. Arrested were three men, ages 20, 19, and 18, along with a 29 year old woman, all from LaPorte. An investigation continues and additional charges are expected. Anyone with any additional information regarding these robberies is asked to contact Michigan City Police....

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Lake County Surveyor Formally Submits Guilty Plea

In U.S. District in Hammond on Thursday, Lake County Surveyor George Van Til formally submitted his guilty plea to six counts of wire fraud-felony crimes against taxpayers. 
 
When asked by Senior U.S. District Court Judge James T. Moody who was the victim in this case, Federal Prosecutor Phillip Benson said that the Lake County Government was and if case went to trial the government is prepared to prove Van Til was using his office employees and resources to help get re-elected while employees were on the county's payroll sometime between the period of November 2007 and December 2012.  
 
Prior to hearing the plea, Judge Moody asked Van Til if he was fully aware of the rights and privileges that he would be giving up including not being able to run for public officer again and waiving the right to appeal the sentencing, to which Van til responded in the affirmative. 
 
Judge Moody also instructed the defendant that he could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison for each of the six counts plus, an additional 2 to 3 years supervised release adding up to a maximum sentence of 120 years in prison, 18 years supervised release and $1.5 million dollars in fines plus restitution. 
 
The judge reserved accepting the plea pending a sentencing date which Judge Moody said would be set to a date and time convenient to both the prosecutors and defendant’s council. Until that time, Van Til remains free on bond....

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Coats: Indiana's AAA Credit Ratings a Model for D.C.

Senator Dan Coats
Indiana has maintained its Triple-A credit ratings from all three bond agencies – Standard and Poor's, Moody's and Fitch. Indiana US Senator Dan Coats today says the Hoosier model has resulted in balanced budgets, job creation and a continued Triple-A credit rating, which is why Washington should look to it as a good blueprint for Amercia's recovery. Senator Coats says Washington's approach the last five-years has resulted in fewer jobs, higher debt, and credit agency downgrades, while Indiana's fiscal turnaround has brought increased opportunity and prosperity for Hoosier businesses, workers and families.

Indiana has held Triple-A ratings with all three bond agencies since April of 2010. ...

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Mandela Dead at 95

mandela
Former South African President Nelson Mandela has died. He was 95. ABC News reports Nelson Mandela became an international symbol of triumph over injustice after he became South Africa's first democratically elected president following a quarter century as a political prisoner. During his five years in office he encouraged a policy of national reconciliation to heal the wounds of apartheid and devoted his later years to charity and conflict mediation across the globe. ...

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Charges Filed Against At-Large Homicide Suspects

Gary PD
Charges have been filed regarding two recent homicides in Gary. Gary Police Public Information Officer Corp. Gabrielle King says on Sunday, December 1st, Robert Crawford was charged in the November 29th death of 33 year old Eugene Jackson, who died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds in the 44-hundred block of Virginia Street.
On Wednesday, Corp. King says 28 year old Anthony T. Williams was charged with murder and in the December 2nd death of 34 year old Damian Reedus, of Gary, and attempted murder for the shooting of his girlfriend. Williams is alleged to have shot the two while in a van, near East 19th Avenue and Pennsylvania Street.
Corp. King says both suspects remain at large and anyone with information regarding their whereabouts is asked to contact the Homicide Division of the Gary Police Department at (219) 881-1210. ...

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IN Taxpayers Being Ripped-Off By Metal Scrappers

Indiana State Police logo
INDOT and Indiana State Police today announced a press conference will be held next week regarding the numerous incidents recently of metal scrapper thieves stealing wiring from highway light poles. Officials say the incidents have persisted along the I-80/94 and I-65 corridors, which results in darkened highways and in turn threatens the safety of drivers. Details on Indiana taxpayer money lost due to metal scrapping thieves, how they're doing it, and how the public can help to catch them is expected to be addressed during the press conference, which takes place Wednesday at 11am, at the INDOT Gary Subdistrict Conference Room.
Indot Logo color ...

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Region Invited To Holly Days

If you are looking for some holiday fun this weekend be sure to check out Holly Days in downtown Valparaiso Friday. The event is free and will feature train rides, ice sculptures, food samples, Santa and a whole lot more from 5-7pm at Central Park Plaza. Radio One's KB will also be on hand collecting toys for Toys for Tots on the corner of Lincolnway and Lafayette. Find out more by listening to today's 219 On Demand here on our website....

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Video: Fire Scene, Gary Building Destroyed

An abandoned hotel in Gary is destroyed by fire overnight. Fire also damaged a second vacant building near 8th and Washington, a block west of Broadway. The former Hotel Plaza, which collapsed in the blaze, is mostly empty, but was occupied by a storefront church called God's House of Prayer. There's debris including bricks from the collapsed structure across 8th Avenue. No word on possible cause of the fire at this time. Crews responded at about 11 pm Wednesday night.
Here is video from the fire scene this morning (courtesy Karl Berner/Radio One Communications: http://youtu.be/DOMBdm7-tQo...

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UPDATE: Major Fire in Gary Overnight

fire one
An abandoned hotel in Gary is destroyed by fire overnight. Fire also damaged a second vacant building near 8th and Washington, a block west of Broadway. The former Hotel Plaza, which collapsed in the blaze, is mostly empty, but was occupied by a storefront church called God's House of Prayer. There's debris including bricks from the collapsed structure across 8th Avenue. No word on possible cause of the fire at this time.
fire two
Crews responded at about 11 pm Wednesday night, and firefighters this morning are dealing with flareups and hotspots. Some streets are blocked off around the fire, but we understand traffic on Broadway was not being affected. The 21st Century Charter School of Gary is located across the street from the fire. At this time no word of any injuries. The 21st Century Charter School of Gary is located across the street from the fire.
Our Karl Berner was at the scene this morning - to hear his report visit News Audio on Demand here at our website. [Photos/Karl Berner]
fire three
fire four ...

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