Traffic Hazard Southbound I-65 at US-30

SB I-65  at US-30  07-02-13
Looking toward southbound traffic on I-65 just past US-30, spilled contents can be seen in the left lane.
Traffic southbound I-65 is slowing down approaching US-30 in Merrillville because an dump truck reportedly lost it's load just past the US-30 overpass.  Drivers should merge into the left lane.  Traffic tipsters are reporting that the dump truck is off to the right hand shoulder.  Drivers should expect delays southbound on I-65 near mile 253.2.
(photo from INDOT)

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Operation C.A.R.E Campaign Over 4th of July Holiday

Indiana State Police logo
To help ensure the safety of all motorists during this heavily traveled holiday, Indiana State Police will be participating in Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) from July 3rd through
July 7th. Operation C.A.R.E. is a federally funded program and will allow more than 100 additional troopers to patrol area roadways in an attempt to reduce the number of crashes, fatalities and injuries over the holiday weekend. Troopers will be targeting impaired drivers, motorists who speed, follow too closely, make unsafe lane changes, drive aggressively and fail to buckle up or properly restrain their children. Troopers also encourage motorists to stay off their cell phones while driving.
The Indiana State Police encourage all motorists to observe the following safety tips:
• If you’re planning to travel a long distance, make sure you are well rested. A fatigued driver is a dangerous driver.
• Avoid tailgating. Remember the two-second rule.
• Obey all speed limits and always use your turn signals when turning and changing lanes.
• Avoid using cell phones while driving. Distracted driving is dangerous driving.
• Never drink and drive.
• Make sure everyone is buckled up.
The Indiana State Police would like everyone to remember that driving comes with important responsibilities to yourself, your passengers and other motorists.
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Traffic and Street Restrictions in LaPorte July 4th for Parade

LaPorte PD
LaPorte Police have announced traffic and street restrictions for the LaPorte Jaycees Fourth of July Parade next Thursday. The parade begins at 10 a.m. and starts at Tipton St., running east to west on State Road 2, (Lincolnway & J St.), to Andrew Av.
Beginning at 8:30 AM on July 4th, traffic will be diverted off of State Road 2. No traffic other than the parade units will be allowed on State Road 2, (Lincolnway & J St.), between Philadelphia Street and Andrew Avenue on the day of the parade between 8:30 AM and the end of the parade.
Regarding the parade route; there will be no parking allowed on the street or in the tree lawns along State Road 2. No citizens will be allowed to sit in the street along the parade route, and no pedestrians, bicyclists or skaters will be allowed in the street along the parade route while the parade taking place. No vehicles will be allowed to be illegally parked in the middle of the cross streets along the parade route during the parade.
Emergency routes for LaPorte County Emergency Medical Services and the LaPorte Fire Department will be Michigan Avenue and US 35, so any citizens wishing to stand in those streets must be prepared to move quickly. People who illegally park along the parade route will receive citations and have their vehicles impounded.
Access to the staging area for the parade will be restricted well in advance of the parade by barricades, as will access to the parade route when it is closed. All motorists should remember that driving around barricades is against the law and they will be cited if an officer observes them doing it.
For events like the Fourth of July Parade pedestrian safety is the number one priority of the La Porte Police Department and any dangerous or illegal driving behavior will not be tolerated.
Parade spectators are reminded to adhere to the city ordinance which prohibits the placement of blankets, chairs and other items along the parade route more than 24 hours before the official start of the parade. No blankets, chairs or other items may be placed along the route before 10:00 AM on July 3, 2013.
Spectators attending the parade are asked to be considerate of everyone around them during the event. Since the parade is first and foremost a family event, officers have been given orders to arrest any intoxicated, unruly or belligerent persons. Fireworks violations that occur along the parade route will also be aggressively addressed due to the public safety issues involved.
Citizens are reminded that due to the crowds, noise and confusion, the parade is definitely not a good place to bring pets. Parents are also strongly encouraged to closely supervise their children and perhaps attach a note to the clothing of younger children indicating where the parents are along the parade route, in case a child wanders off.
The detour route around the city for SR 2 will be Boyd Boulevard to US 35 to Crescent Drive to 18th Street. All east-west streets north and south of the parade route will be open.
The main detour route for east-west traffic through the downtown area will be along Factory Street, Brighton Street, Washington Street, State Street, L Street, Second Street and Colfax Avenue to and from State Road 2.
The detour for US 35 from the north will be to exit the US overpass and then travel either east or west from there.
The detour for US 35 from the south will be either Boyd Boulevard or Crescent Drive as previously mentioned.
We are reminding motorists that the traffic on the Fourth of July is always very slow and congested. If you have a low tolerance for these types of traffic conditions, you may want to avoid the downtown area.
The La Porte Police Department wishes everyone a fun and safe July 4th Celebration!
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IN Ranks 22nd in Overall Hwy Performance and Efficiency

The Reason Foundation has released their latest annual highway report and Indiana ranked 22nd in the nation in overall highway performance and efficiency, up from 23rd in their previous report. According to the report, Indiana ranks first in rural instate pavement condition, 10th in fatality rate, 10th in urban interstate congestion, 21st in deficient bridges, and 28th in urban interstate pavement condition.
Indiana has the 23rd largest highway system in the nation, with 11-thousand-175 miles under state highway control, and the state's administrative costs are three-times the national average, ranking 43rd, bu the report says that is possible due to accounting decisions associated with the Indiana Toll Road Concession.. For more information on the annual highway report, visit
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Communities Pull Together During Last Week's Storms

tree down
(Photo Courtesy of Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller)
Last week's storms hit the region hard, knocking out power to over 100-thousand energy customers and causing numerous trees to be uprooted, as well as other damage, but it also showed how communities and law enforcement agencies can come together for the greater good. Hammond Police Chief Brian Miller says he was very impressed by the way neighbors in Hammond helped each other out moving trees and branches. Chief Miller says after Tuesday's storm, the City of Gary lost their ability to field 9-1-1 calls, so Hammond covered for them, and returned the favor after Hammond lost their 9-1-1 call ability during Friday's storms....

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Three Vehicle Crash Near Lowell on SB I-65

Traffic tipster are reporting a three-vehicle crash on southbound I-65 near the Lowell exit. Traffic is reportedly getting by on the right shoulder. No further information is available at this time.
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Arnold Appointed to 10 Interim Study Committees, Commissions

Jim Arnold
INDIANAPOLIS-- State Senator Jim Arnold (D-LaPorte) has been appointed to serve on the new School Safety Interim Study Committee, which was established by the 2013 legislative session. The committee stems from Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 1 and will look to improve safety among the state’s schools and develop best practices for school resource officers hired under the provisions of SEA 1. The act provided schools with grant funding to hire officers to assist with school safety and security.
Another interim committee to which Sen. Arnold will serve is the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee. The committee is charged with studying a variety of issues surrounding the investigation, prosecution and sentencing of crimes in Indiana, including the criminal code affected by House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1006 that was approved in April. The committee will study and make recommendations to the General Assembly concerning statutes overhauled by HEA 1006 before the law takes effect next year, including sentencing laws, local corrections programs and the suspensions of certain sentences. 
Sen. Arnold has also been appointed to the Special Group Recognition License Plate Committee, Census Data Advisory Committee, Code Revision Commission, Interim Study Committee on Driver Education, Interim Study Committee on Economic Development, Indiana Homeland Security Foundation, Joint Study Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Assessment and Solutions and the Water Resources Study Committee.
These appointments were made by the Senate President Pro Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) upon recommendation of Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson).
The Indiana General Assembly annually convenes interim study committees and permanent commissions to conduct in-depth research and analysis of issues affecting the state. Recommendations from these committees are often the basis for future legislation. More information about committee topics, schedules and agendas is available online at
Sen. Arnold represents District 8 in the Indiana State Senate which encompasses most of LaPorte County including the City of LaPorte and the eastern part of Michigan City. It also includes western St. Joseph County and Davis, Oregon, Washington, Center and Jackson townships in Starke County.
For more information about Sen. Arnold, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit
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Coats: Congress Should Work Together on Student Loan Rates

Senator Dan Coats
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) on Monday made the following statement regarding the doubling of interest rates on student loans that took effect Monday:
“A long-term fix to prevent an increase in student loan interest rates is vitally important for America’s young people,” Coats said. “I have supported a market-based proposal, similar to what President Obama has suggested, that would allow students to take advantage of low interest rates and provide long-term financial stability to the loan program. The Senate Majority Leader rejected this common-sense proposal in order to push for tax increases. This misguided plan would cost taxpayers more than $8 billion, yet would save students only $6 per month. Given the economic challenges already facing young Americans, I am hopeful that Senator Reid will work with the president and Republicans on a permanent solution that puts students ahead of politics.”
Beginning Monday, the interest rate on new subsidized Stafford student loans increased from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Approximately seven million college students will be affected by the rate hike.
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Children Twice as Likely to be Injured by Fireworks

IDHS logo
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding Hoosiers that children ages 10-14 are twice as likely to be injured by fireworks.Two out of every five fireworks injuries are individuals under the age of 15.
“Fireworks are a part of many Independence Day celebrations, and we want Hoosiers to have a safe and happy holiday,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal, Jim Greeson. “However, caution should be used to prevent injuries, especially for children.”
The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is a division of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security.
Even seemingly harmless fireworks can cause injuries. Sparklers, hand-held and ground fireworks (those that stay on the ground) alone accounted for 38 percent of the 8,600 emergency room fireworks injuries in 2010. Sparklers burn at about 1200 degrees Fahrenheit, which is 300 degrees hotter than the temperature at which glass melts. Glow sticks make an excellent alternative to sparklers, especially for young children, and can be purchased at most retail stores.

General fireworks safety
·         Only purchase and light 1.4G consumer fireworks. Examples include bottle rockets, roman candles and firecrackers.
·         Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
·         Do not alter any fireworks device or attempt to make your own fireworks.
·         Use a clear, open area and keep your audience a safe distance from the ignition site.
·         Light one firework item at a time and never attempt to re-light or fix a “dud” firework.
·         Never let children handle, play with, or light any fireworks.
·         Have a fire extinguisher, hose, bucket of water or other water source nearby.
·         Be cautious when lighting fireworks when it is windy.
·         Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
·         Never aim, point, or throw fireworks at another person.
·         Use fireworks outdoors, never indoors.

Fireworks can be fun, as long as safety rules are followed. For more information about fireworks safety, visit
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Indiana DNR Investigates Fish Kill on Little Calumet River

INDIANA DNR Conservation Officer
Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating a fish kill that occurred 6/30/13 on the Little Calumet River in Lake County, near Munster. Indiana Conservation Officers, along with the Lake County Haz-Mat team responded to a ¼ mile long area near Calumet Ave to find over 200 dead fish of varying size and species along the banks of the river. Water samples were collected for testing by IDEM to determine if pollutants were present in the river. Samples of the dead fish were also collected for analysis by DNR fisheries biologists. The multi-agency investigation is on-going at this time. Anyone with possible information about the fish kill is encouraged to contact Indiana Conservation Officer Central Dispatch at 812-837-9536.
(article provided)

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