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US Marshals Fugitive of the Week: Sheena Denice Webb

WEBBSHEENA
Sheena Denice Webb

A 25 year old woman is wanted for multiple felony charges including Robbery with a Gun, Aggravated Battery, Battery and Criminal Confinement by the Lake County Indiana Sheriff's Department and is this week's "Fugitive of the Week" by the U-S Marshals Service, Great Lakes Fugitive Task Force.  Sheena Denice Webb was last known to reside in the 4800 block of Northcote Avenue in East Chicago.  Webb is described as a black female, 5'1", weighing 139 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.  Anyone with information on Sheena Denice Webb's whereabouts may contact task force investigators by calling toll-free (888) 805-6119 or by texting “capture” to Tip411 (847411).  All tipsters will remain anonymous.
(photo courtesy of the US Marshals Service)

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Hoosiers should Hang Up on Utility Bill Scams

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller urges consumers to hang up on a new scam where callers impersonate utility company employees and ask for payment on delinquent bills

The Attorney General’s office and utility companies have received reports about calls notifying homeowners of past due utility bills, but traditional forms of payment such as checks and credit cards are not accepted. Zoeller said the scammers ask for the customer to purchase a prepaid debit card, often found at Walmart or gas stations, and call them back with the PIN number.

“Criminals are using easily accessible prepaid debit cards to take victims’ money and avoid being traced,” Zoeller said. “This form of payment is just like giving cash – once you hand it over it’s gone. As the weather begins to heat up consumers should be on alert as scammers will try to use threats – like utility disconnection – in order to con you out of your money.”

Zoeller said if Indiana consumers receive a call asking for a prepaid card or personal information just hang-up and contact the utility provider directly. Utility customers with delinquent accounts often receive multiple notifications, including written notice, from their utility over the span of several weeks before services are disconnected.

In order to appear legitimate, scammers use caller ID spoofing technology which allows them to disguise their phone number. For example, your caller ID screen may have the name of a local utility company, but the call could actually be coming from another state or country.

Individuals who believe they may be a victim can file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General’s office by visiting www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-800-380-5516.
Indiana OAG Official Seal
(http://www.in.gov)
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CP Business Owner Pleads Guilty to False Statements

A 41 year old Crown Point man pled guilty this week in Hammond federal Court before Chief Judge Philp Simon to the felony offenses of making false statements on a tax return and making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding. Charges were filed against Roman Perez as a result of an investigation by the IRS and the FBI, and he faces up to eight years in prison. Sentencing has been scheduled for November 14th.
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Cook Co Sheriff's Office to Serve as Inspector Gen of Dolton

The financial woes in the Village of Dolton, Illinois, have led to the Cook County Sheriff's Public Corruption Unit to act as their independent inspector general, effective immediately. Sheriff Tom Dart says they are doing this at the request of Mayor Riley Rogers, who will formally introduce an ordinance establishing the Sheriff's Office to the position on Monday.
Mayor Rogers, who assumed office earlier this month, found the village on the brink of potential financial collapse, and on Thursday, announced the village had just 125-thousand dollars on hand, and needs to obtain a loan just to meet payroll. Sheriff Dart says his team will play a critical role in fulfilling the Mayor's vision of a clean and transparent Dolton, and invites other struggling suburban communities to use this approach as a model to get their towns back on track.

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Gary Man Wins One Million Dollars Playing Lottery

terry jackson
(Photo Courtesy of the Hoosier Lottery)
A Gary man recently became the second Hoosier in the last year to claim a one-million dollar prize from the Hoosier Lottery. Lottery officials report Terry Jackson claimed his winnings on Tuesday, and says the money will help to pad his nest egg. Jackson won the one-million dollar prize by playing the scratch-off game, Hoosier Lottery Black, and purchased the winning ticket at Citgo, in the 61-hundred block of West Ridge Road in Gary.
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Yellowstone Rd in Valpo Closed Next Week for Restoration

Starting Monday morning, Yellowstone Road in Valparaiso will be closed for a road restoration project. Officials report Yellowstone Road will be closed for approximately 700 feet, from the north George Street entrance to Avondale Avenue. Work is scheduled to begin at 7am Monday and continue through Friday afternoon.
Yellowstone-Road-Detour
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54th Avenue Storm Sewer Project in Merrillville Update

The Merrillville Stormwater Utility Project continues with the sawing of curb and pavement cuts scheduled for today. Officials say trees affecting the project have been removed, and utilities have been relocated along 54th Avenue. Starting on Monday, the storm sewer construction is scheduled to begin, and although there maybe some brief delays, the contractor plans to do the work “under traffic”, so no lanes are anticipated to be closed. The 54th Avenue Storm Sewer Project is expected to be completed by the end of August or early September.
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IDHS Warns of Possible Severe WX Conditions this Weekend

INDIANAPOLIS -- With predictions of possible severe weather this weekend, Hoosiers need to be aware of and watch for developing storm systems over the next few days. 
Keep apprised of local weather reports and set up weather alerts to cell and smart phones.
A NOAA all hazards (weather) alert radio is a tool that can provide urgent updates for weather and other situations. This type of radio are optimal because it provides an audible alert that provides notice even at night, and gives more specific instruction about the type of hazard.
An all hazards radio can be programmed to a specific county and is available for purchase at most electronic and department stores. Program the radio by using the specific “SAME” code found on  http://www.nws.noaa.gov/nwr/indexnw.htm.
Thunderstorms producing large hail, flash floods, heavy rains, lightning, strong winds and tornados are prevalent in Indiana. Know the difference between a WATCH and a WARNING:
  • A severe thunderstorm WATCH means a severe thunderstorm is likely to develop.
  • A severe thunderstorm WARNING means that a severe thunderstorm has been sighted or indicated by weather radar
For more information on getting prepared for severe weather, visit the IDHS website: www.getprepared.in.gov.
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Governor Pence Designates June 1st Trails Day

Indiana DNR
June 1 is Trails Day in Indiana, as designated by Gov. Mike Pence, so it's time to hit the trail on Saturday.
Each year Indiana joins states across the country in marking National Trails Day as a time to recognize the United States’ trails system and its countless supporters and volunteers. Saturday marks the 21st anniversary of National Trails Day.
Hoosiers can experience the great outdoors on a trail, not just this Saturday, but any other day of the year.
"Indiana's trails are natural treasures," said Dale Brier of the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation. "They provide numerous recreational opportunities, bringing together family and friends, enhancing quality of life, and boosting tourism."
To celebrate Trails Day, O’Bannon Woods and Turkey Run state parks, and Brookville Lake and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are hosting trail cleanup and maintenance activities. 
Several other local trail organizations will host events in communities throughout the state.
For more information about trails and Trails Day opportunities, go to the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation website at dnr.IN.gov/outdoor/2604.htm.
"Every year more trails and opportunities are available to outdoor enthusiasts," Brier said. "With the Hoosiers on the Move program, Indiana State Trails and Greenways & Bikeways ambitious plan, every Hoosier will be within 5 miles of a trail by 2016."
The DNR Division of State Parks & Reservoirs offers 700 miles of hiking, biking and horse trails. For a list of favorite hikes at state parks and reservoirs by DNR staff, see dnr.IN.gov/healthy. For information about guided walks with interpretive naturalists on trails throughout the year, visit InterpretiveServices.IN.gov.
The DNR Division of Forestry offers 425 miles of trails in Indiana’s state forests. See dnr.IN.gov/forestry.
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Nature Trust Announces Completion of LaPorte Co Project

The LaPorte County Parks Foundation has completed the purchase of a 15-acre addition to Luhr County Park with funding assistance from the Bicentennial Nature Trust (BNT). The Unity Foundation of LaPorte County contributed additional funding to help make the purchase. 
The new property features oak- and hickory-forested wetlands and an area targeted for prairie restoration. The LaPorte County Parks Department will own and manage the property, while the DNR holds a conservation easement ensuring public access and permanent protection.
“The Bicentennial Nature Trust helped us leverage private dollars to make this addition become a reality,” said Timothy Morgan, superintendent of LaPorte County Parks. “Without the BNT, this acquisition would not have been possible.”
The BNT is a project of the Bicentennial Commission, co-chaired by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman and former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton. The statewide program is aimed at expanding trails, conservation areas and recreation sites to help celebrate Indiana’s 200 years of statehood in 2016. The state park system was created during Indiana’s centennial celebration in 1916, and BNT projects will provide a similar legacy for generations of Hoosiers.
An initial $20 million in state funding was identified for BNT projects, and the Lilly Endowment donated another $10 million to the effort. Money from the fund is matched no less than $1:1 with the local community or group sponsor. To date, the Bicentennial Commission has approved 35 projects, including three in LaPorte County.
“We applaud the LaPorte County Parks Foundation for its effort to further the 2016 Bicentennial Commission’s commitment to nature conservation in Indiana,” said Skillman and Hamilton. “We look forward to hearing and celebrating many more success stories for the Bicentennial Nature Trust in the months and years to come.”
LaPorte County Parks preserve and manage natural, cultural, and recreational resources within a seven-park system totaling more than 600 acres. Located on 89 acres just south of LaPorte, Luhr Park features upland forest, wetland, prairie, paved trails and a stocked pond. For more information, visit laportecountyparks.org/luhr.html.

The BNT is seeking additional private donations of land and money as well as input from communities on viable projects. Applications for the Nature Trust can be found at IN.gov/naturetrust.
For more information on the Bicentennial Commission, visit IN.gov/indiana2016.
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