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Cold Case Playing Cards Feature Region Cases

playingcards
The third edition of the Indiana Department of Correction's “Indiana Cold Case Homicides Playing Cards” was released this week and they're being distributed at state prisons and to police across the state. The cards profile 52 unsolved homicides and missing persons cases each featuring information and a photo of the victim. Officials hope the cards may jar an inmate's memory or provide a clue that, when combined with other information, might provide the break investigators need to solve a case. The latest edition includes seven homicide cases out of Northwest Indiana, two from Lake County, one from La Porte County, and four cases in Newton County that include three people yet to be identified. You can view the cards online at this link: http://www.in.gov/idoc/3280.htm
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'Pink Moon' Lunar Eclipse

Region stargazers -- a 'shallow' lunar eclipse occurs today, but it won't be visible in the United States.  You can still catch the sight online in a webcast. The April full moon is sometimes called the "Pink" full moon, says Farmers Almanac, from wild ground phlox, one of the earliest spring flowers to bloom.  Only a small portion of the moon will be covered by Earth's shadow, hence 'shallow'.  In a total lunar eclipse, when the entire moon is obscured by Earth's shadow, the moon can take on a reddish-hue due to light refracted by the Earth's atmosphere.    It is the first of three lunar eclipses occurring this year.  You can watch the partial lunar eclipse live on SPACE.com.  The entire lunar eclipse will be visible to the unaided eye for observers in Eastern Europe, Africa, Central Asia and Western Australia.  Lunar eclipses occur when the moon, Earth and sun align, with the moon positioned on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.
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Merrillville Drainage Project to Begin

The 54th Avenue/Meadowdale improvement project in Merrillville is expected to begin within a month, and be completed within 120 days. The 638-thousand dollar contract for storm sewer construction was awarded to Gough of Merrillville at a special meeting of the Merrillville Stormwater Management Board this week. Matt Lake, Executive Director of Stormwater Utility, says the infrastructure, which is mostly drainage pipes, is crumbling, and the work will extend along 54th Avenue from Fillmore to Johnson Street, where there've been some drainage problems in about a six-block area.
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Schererville Denies Home Gunsmithing

The Schererville Town Council has denied a zoning change that would have allowed a resident to provide gunsmithing services – repairing and cleaning firearms -- at his home in a neighborhood near 73rd and Burr. The man said he requested the special clearance to work from home because he can't afford the cost of renting out space in a commercial area.
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GPS Signs to Help Runners and Responders

Two more Region towns have approved locator signs that display GPS coordinates for their parks and trails. The idea comes from 78-year-old Bill Pauley of Valparaiso, an avid runner who's trying to aid emergency responders in getting to remote areas of Porter County, and parks that people may know by name, but likely don't know their address. This week town councils in Porter and Chesterton signed on. Similar signs have already gone up at Indiana Dunes State Park. The county is funding cost of the signs.
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Portage Bomb Threat Suspect Arrested

Portage Police say they received a report of someone handing a note to a clerk at the Walmart on US 6 last night that he was going to blow up the store, then left the business. Officers responded, and a few hours later Portage Police Chief Troy Williams posted on the police department's Facebook page that they had someone in custody in connection with the incident.
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Fatal Crash Closes EB 94 Overnight

A fatal accident had all eastbound lanes of Interstate 94 not far from the Indiana/Michigan state line shut down overnight. Indiana State Police say two lanes are closed as of 5:45 am (CDT).  The crash scene is at mile marker 43, which is about three miles east of the US 20/US35 exit, east of Trail Creek in La Porte County
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95 Volunteers Teamed Up 2 Clean Up Last Saturday

Team Up 2 Clean Up
(Photo Courtesy of Portage Township Parks)
Ninety-five volunteers participated in the Portage Township Team Up 2 Clean Up event on Saturday, April 20th.  “We had returning groups, new groups, and community residents participate in this year’s event” stated Joy Lundstrom, Superintendent of Portage Township Parks, “its heart-warming to see the commitment and pride all these groups have for their neighborhood parks”.
 
Returning volunteer groups included Brownies Troop #30003, Boy Scout Pack #487, South Haven Boys & Girls Club, Portage High School JROTC, and employees from Bounce N Around.  New volunteer groups represented were managers and employees from area Starbucks stores, St. Peter Lutheran Church Youth Group and their parents, and local community residents like Melody Palmer and friends.
 
Projects took place at Haven Hollow and Field of Dreams Parks in South Haven, as well as, the South Haven Volunteer Fire Department.
South Haven Boys & Girls Club members expanded the tree nursery they created last year with seedlings from Indiana DNR’s Tree program.  The Starbucks crew assisted with the project which included staking new rows, planting, and mulching seedlings.  Brownies Troop #30003 spruced up their four flower boxes at Field of Dreams Park and placed recycle bins at the park.  The Portage High School JROTC picked up debris and fallen limbs at Field of Dreams Park, raked and leveled-out fiber mulch under playground equipment at Haven Hollow Park and gathered over 30lbs of recycle trash.  (Photo attached).
St. Peter’s Youth group tidied the grounds at the South Haven Fire Department, toured the facility and mopped the fire house bay where fire trucks are parked.  Boy Scout Pack # 487 donated four rain barrels to the Portage Township Parks Department that they received from donations from Indiana American Water Company and Recycle & Waste Reduction District of Porter County.
 
“This is an amazing example displaying how the good works of a few groups can have such a positive impact in our Township Parks and our community”, stated Brendan Clancy, Portage Township Trustee, "we are very grateful for everyone’s participation and support”.
 
To learn more about these projects, the Portage Township Department of Parks and Recreation or how you can be involved, contact Portage Township Parks Department at 219.762.1623 x31.
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Windom Gets 50 More years in Prison

Aaron Windom
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A 27 year old Michigan City man today had 50 years added to his prison sentence. The Times reports last month, Aaron Windom plead guilty to murder in the shooting death of a 17 year old Gary man that took place in February of 2011. Published reports say Windom is already serving a 20 year sentence for a shooting incident that reportedly took place two days prior to that incident, and a judge has ordered the sentences be served consecutively.
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General Assembly Approves Rural Health Bill

Senator Vaneta Becker
STATEHOUSE (April 24, 2013) — A bill authored by State Sen. Vaneta Becker (R-Evansville) to improve health-care access for Indiana’s rural residents gained final legislative approval today. 
Senate Bill 554 would require the Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning to reimburse health-care providers for telehealth and telemedicine services offered to Medicaid recipients. Telehealth and telemedicine services use telecommunications and information technology to provide remote access to health assessment, diagnosis and information. Becker lauded the legwork from both houses in the bill’s final legislative passage.
“I appreciate the hard work and support that has gone into this bill, from both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Providing health care to rural residents through telehealth and telemedicine services enhances both the quality and availability of medical care,” Becker said. “This bill is a common-sense measure that enables medical providers to utilize new technology to increase overall health-care access for Indiana residents.”
SB 554 now heads to the governor to be signed into law.
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