Transgender Person's Death Under Investigation

A transgender person from Gary who sustained severe burns was pronunced dead just after noon today at Methodist Northlake E-R.   The Lake County Coroner's Office reports the manner of death is pending for Jacquelyn Allen, and that the incident occurred in the one-thousand block of Jefferson Street in Gary.  The Coroner's Office and the Gary Fire Department are investigating and no further information is available at last check.

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Crown Point Gets Grant Money for 93rd Ave Trailhead

The City of Crown Point announced today they received a grant from TransCanada in the amount of 35-thousand dollars to place a trailhead at 93rd Avenue and to add amenties like bike racks, benches and additional shelters. Parks Administrator Jennie Burgess says the city has two trailheads, with construction to begin shortly for the Summit Street end of the one-point-six mile trail, which is the Crown Point portion of the Erie Lackawanna Trail, and that this grant now allows them to now add more to the 93rd Avenue trailhead. Burgess says contruction on the 93rd Avenue portion could begin later next year, in conjunction with improvements to the intersection of 93rd and Main Street.
The public is invited out on Monday, September 23rd, at 10am, at the 93rd Avenue trailhead for a check presentation, which would be moved into the City Hall Council Chambers in the event the weather refuses to cooperate. ...

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Police Investigating the Rape of a Hammond Teen

Authorities in Hammond and Dolton, Illinois are investigating an alleged sexual assault of a 16 year old Gavit High School girl who was reportedly abducted while walking home from school Monday afternoon in Hammond. Police report the incident occurred around 3:30pm, and the suspects drove her across the state line to a motel in Dolton, where she was raped and eventually released. At last check no charges have been filed and no one is in custody....

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Many Without Power Due to Storms

A number of northwest Indiana communities are dealing with power outages due to the storms. At last check NIPSCO's Outage Map reports over 900 customers in Gary are without power, with almost 180 in Lowell and over 40 without power in Shelby. The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Advisory is in effect for southern Newton and southwestern Jasper County until 8pm tonight. ...

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Valpo Mayor takes part in Project Lifesaver Event

Mayor receives wristband from Sheriff Lain
In an effort to call attention to a proven national program that protects elderly parents of adult children afflicted with memory loss or some form of Dementia or Alzheimer's, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas agreed to seek a hiding place in the City's downtown only to be found.

The event to publicize the effectiveness of Project Lifesaver, hosted by the Porter County Sheriff's Department and Triad of Porter County, is a program that, according to the Lifesaver website, "protects those who wander and brings peace of mind to families, caregivers , and Communities."

Mayor Costas, seen in the above photo receiving a Project Lifesaver wristband from Sheriff David Lain, told Region News, "I can see how difficult it can be when an (elderly) parent is struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s and they're at risk." But the mayor who is also an Elder Law attorney says, "this program is very cost effective and it really puts the adult children at ease knowing that their parents are safer and that someone who is suffering...can be found quicker."
Mayor and Louise go off and hide
(L-R) Louise Thompson of Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter and Mayor Costas begin their ten minutue head-start in Central Park Plaza, Thursday Sept. 19, 2013.
Time is of the essence when searching. Louise Thompson, Community Outreach Specialist for the Alzheimer's Association, Greater Indiana Chapter, who accompanied the mayor, says the program is a lifesaver, "The mortality (rate) for someone who gets lost and is gone for over an hour...doubles every hour."

Project Lifesaver was unveiled nationally over ten years ago with Porter County being one of the first counties in Indiana to obtain the system in April of 2005, according to a previous Times article. Since that time, Sheriff David Lain says there have only been twelve participants in the county, and all of the participants were found uninjured. Triad tasked County Sheriff David Lain to approach the mayor to get the word out about the program to residents of Porter County. The sheriff says with his celebrity status, Mayor Costas is the perfect figure to champion the program's cause.
Sheriff David Lain
Porter County Sheriff, David Lain at the "Where's the Mayor?" Project Lifesaver event
The sheriff says, "from the standpoint of manpower...we now have technology on our side and instead of it taking hours or even days to find somebody the average amount of time it takes to find a Project Lifesaver client is 30 minutes."
Cpt George Gonzales with tracking gear
Cpt. George Gonzalez of the Porter County Sheriff's Department leads one of two tracking units to find "lost" mayor

Police increase their odds of finding lost individuals by tracking with up to five units and using triangulation to get a fix on the missing subject's probably position. After a ten minute head-start, Captain George Gonzalez of the Sheriff's Department lead one of the two teams that found the mayor and Thompson's location in under ten minutes. The program runs very efficiently, Captain Gonzalez told Region News, "every client has a unique frequency (their radio transmitting wristband) and we program it into the receiver...we stop and scan from time to time to make sure we are headed in the right direction and eventually it will lead us right to the client."
Tracking team finds Mayor and Louise
Sharing in the success of Project Lifesaver after being found in the vicinity of the old jail are (L-R) Sheriff David Lain, Louise Thompson and Mayor Jon Costas
More information about Project Lifesaver is available at:
(photos courtesy of Jay Stevens)...

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Idea to Move Animal Shelter to Sunset Hill Dropped

Porter County Commissioners report they will no longer seek to move the county animal shelter to Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The announcement was made today to find a new location during the Porter County Parks Foundation meeting, in which over 40 people turned out. The proposed site at Sunset Hill is in a federal conservation zone, and the County Parks Foundation could have possibly stood to lose funding if plans would have moved forward....

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WX Causing Many Issues Overnight and This Morning

Flash floods in Chicago killed one man, and left thousands without power. ABC News reports with the rain falling at nearly two inches an hour Wednesday night, a 25 year old private contractor, working on a sewer was swept away. His body was later recovered. Michael Fox, with the Chicago Fire Department, says the contractor had the camera going both ways in the sewer to see if the man could be found faster, and maybe make it a rescue instead of a recovery, but it didn't turn out. The downpour knocked out power to more than 15-thousand customers. At Chicago's airports, dozens of flights were delayed as the storms lingered through the morning.
The heavy rains overnight and into today caused water to drip from the ceiling, leaving soggy carpets in one of the courtrooms at the Lake County Government Center in Crown Point. The roof is reportedly past its prime and commissioners may declare an emergency and seek bids to fix it....

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Severe T-Storm Warning and Flood Advisory

1 breaking-news
The National Weather Service has extended its Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 5:45pm CDT for southwestern Jasper County. Also a Flood Advisory is in effect for southern Newton and southwestern Jasper County until 8pm tonight. ...

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National Public Lands Day is September 28th

Indiana DNR
Volunteer opportunities at Indiana state parks and reservoirs properties take place this weekend as part of National Public Lands Day. The Department of Natural Resources reports on Saturday only, active-duty military personnel and veterans can enter Indiana state parks and reservoirs for free, along with anyone in their vehicle, as long as they present identification showing they are or were a member of the military. On Sunday, free gate admission will be given to Indiana state employees, who show proper identification.  Additionally, volunteer opportunities and fun activities will continue at many properties on Sunday.
For property-specific information on volunteer opportunities and a wide range of fall programs and special event weekends, see or call the specific property you plan to visit.
For more information on National Public Lands Day or to find a National Public Lands Day event near you, visit

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Severe T-Storm Warning Until 4:45pm CDT

1 breaking-news
The National Weather Service has issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning until 4:45pm CDT. The warning is for southern Jasper and Newton Counties. Quarter size hail and 60 mile per hour wind gust are associated with the storm, according to their radar, with the potential impact of hail damage to vehicles and wind damage to roofs, siding and trees a strong possibility....

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