Bosma Scheduled to Return to State House Today

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma is scheduled to return to the State House today after contracting an infection in his knee that he had replaced last summer. According to the House Communication Director, the Speaker will preside over the session, in part, and rest his knee in his office as need be. The infection required him to have surgery last week on Tuesday.
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Voucher Study Defeated by Part Line Vote in Senate

A proposed change to House Bill 1003, that would call for an interim study committee to examine the impact of the voucher program on funding for public education, was rejected along party lines by the Senate on Tuesday, 34 to 15.. State Senator Tim Skinner, of Terre Haute, who proposed the study, says his aim was to determine what effects the program on every child's ability to obtain a high-quality education. Skinner says a total of around nine-thousand vouchers have been given away in the last couple of years, at the expense of over one-million public school students, and questioned the priority of supporting funding public schools.
Skinner also expressed concerns over the potential costs of expanding the voucher program, saying the General Assembly needs to scrutinize the fiscal impact to protect taxpayer investment.
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Kelly Wins Illinois Second Congressional District Seat

Former Illinois State Representative, Robin Kelly captured the second congressional district seat formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr. in Tuesday special election, easily defeating her closest competitor, Republican Paul McKinley. The 56 year old Matteson Democrat, who vowed to fight for gun control legislation during the campaign echoed the message again after her victory.
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Woman in Portage Ignores Alleged Police Impersonator

portage pd
Police in Portage say a woman did the right thing by not stopping for a man in a dark-colored SUV with flashing read and blue lights, who was motioning for her to pull over. Portage Police say the incident occurred at approximately 3:20 Monday afternoon, in the area of Dombey Road and Central Avenue. The woman reported to police the lights were inside the vehicle, driven by a white male, and appeared to be coming from a mobile phone application, and after ignoring the man, she stated the vehicle turned around, and she notified police after reaching her destination. Police say Indiana law prohibits officers from writing a ticket or making an arrest if not in uniform or in a marked car, but doesn't prohibit the officer from pulling you over to give a verbal warning. If you believe you are being pulled over by a police impersonator, call 9-1-1, and if unable to call 9-1-1, wave out the window to acknowledge the officer, drive to a well lit location and stop, and then be ready to explain your concerns as to why you did not stop.
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Governor Pence Signs Child Labor Laws Bill

Today, Governor Mike Pence signed the child labor laws bill, SB 153, which would exempt a child who is employed or works as a youth athletic program referee, umpire, or official from the state's child labor law.   Pence was joined by thirteen-year-old Matthew Burkart, of Newburgh, who worked with State Senators on the bill.  Burkart wanted to work as a soccer referee a year ago, but couldn't because Indiana Soccer officials stopped using 12- and 13-year olds once they learned that hiring them would be illegal.
Gov signs Child Labor Laws Bill
Pence was joined by thirteen-year-old Matthew Burkart, of Newburgh, who worked with State Senator Vaneta Becker (R) and State Representatives Suzanne Crouch (R), Ron Bacon (R), Gail Riecken (D) and Martin Carbaugh (R) on the bill.
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RailCats Caravan to Invade Northwest Indiana

Now that spring and baseball have finally arrived, the anticipation for RailCats baseball season is building throughout Northwest Indiana. In order to further excite the fan base for Opening Day on May 16, the RailCats will be coming out into the community on the first-ever RailCats Caravan!
The Caravan will be driven in a limousine bus from Southlake Limousine Service and will make four stops at locations throughout the Region. On Friday, April 26, the Caravan will stop to play at Jak’s Warehouse in Schererville from 6-8 p.m. On Saturday, April 27, the RailCats will be at Fuel Fitness in Cedar Lake from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. and then at Catch 22 in Merrillville from 6-7 p.m. On Sunday, April 28, the final stop on the Caravan will be at Fuel Fitness in Crown Point from 12-1 p.m.
Members of the RailCats Caravan include RailCats manager Greg Tagert and players Cristian Guerrero, Mike Massaro and Craig Maddox. Of course, mascots Rusty and Rascal will be there to join in the fun as well. The RailCats crew will be interacting with fans, signing autographs and spreading the word about the upcoming season.
“This is a unique opportunity for us to take the RailCats out into the community and connect with our passionate fans,” said RailCats President/General Manager Kevin Spudic. “This will be a lot of fun for the fans to see the players and our manager up-close and personal and have the chance to interact in a different setting.”
Opening Day is approaching and single game tickets are on sale now. Fans may purchase tickets online at or by calling the box office at 219-882-2255.  
RailCats Caravan
April 26—Jak’s Warehouse, Schererville, 6-8 p.m.
April 27—Fuel Fitness, Cedar Lake, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.
                Catch 22, Merrillville, 6-7 p.m.
April 28—Fuel Fitness, Crown Point, 12-1 p.m.
Gary Railcats
(Article provided by Matt Friedman, Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations Gary Southshore  Railcats)
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Gary Mayor Observes National Day of Service

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson joined more than 800 mayors across the country for the first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems.

“In the face of budget cuts, volunteerism and community service are ways that we fill major voids within our city,” said Mayor Freeman-Wilson.  “AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps participants have a positive and lasting impact, making our cities better places to live.  As Mayor, it is my honor to salute them today for all they continue to do in our community.”

More than 60 volunteers hailing from a variety of non-profit organizations (United Way, RSVP, Catholic Charities, Sojourner Truth House, The NWI Arc, NWI Adult Guardianship Services, and One Accord Global) packed the council chambers at City Hall. Volunteer coordinators from each of the organizations shared brief remarks about the important work volunteers perform every day. Freeman-Wilson then read a proclamation and proclaimed it National Service Recognition Day in the City of Gary. 

The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is was conceived of by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as a way to recognize the positive impact of national service in cities, to thank those who serve; and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities.  The day is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, and Cities of Service.

“Mayors are leaders who get things done, responding every day to needs in their cities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “I commend Mayor [NAME] for joining in this important effort to recognize the impact of national service.  We are proud to work hand-in-hand with mayors and other local partners to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”

As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 70,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs.  National service participants address the most pressing challenges facing our cities and nation, from educating students for the jobs of the 21st century and supporting veterans and military families to preserving the environment and helping communities recover from natural disasters.

Across the country, mayors are participating in a variety of activities, including visiting national service programs, hosting roundtables at City Hall, issuing proclamations, and communicating about national service through social media.  By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, mayors hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.
Hear Region News Team reporter Karl Berner, talk with some of the recognitiion recipients available at News Audio On Demand at:    

For more information on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, including background and a list of participating mayors, visit
Gary Mayor
(photo provided by the mayor's office)

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Food Recall Expanded, E coli Cases Reported in Indiana

Food items that were distributed in Indiana are being voluntarily recalled by Rich Products Corporation, following a multi-state outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli 0121(E. coli). Two cases have been reported in Indiana.

Most of the recalled items, including mini frozen pizzas, mozzarella bites and mini quesadillas, among others, are under the brand names Farm Rich® and Market Day®. The recall covers all products produced at the company's Waycross, GA, plant with "Best by" dates ranging from January 1, 2013 to September 29, 2014.

Hoosiers are encouraged to check their freezers for these items, which have a shelf life of about 18 months. Customers who have purchased these items or have questions should contact Rich Products Corporation consumer relations at (888) 220-5955 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday or visit the company website at

Symptoms of E. coli 0121 include mild to severe diarrhea, often bloody, and abdominal cramps. Although most healthy adults can recover completely within five to seven days, certain individuals can develop a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause the kidneys to fail. HUS is most likely to occur in young children and the elderly. 
Contact your health care provider if you or a family member has symptoms of E. coli 0121.

For a full list of recalled items, visit
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Crown Point Orthodontist Sentenced in Health Care Fraud

Dr. Michael David Goodwin, 63, an orthodontist who practiced in Amarillo, Texas, and Crown Point, Indiana, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson to 50 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $1,810,960 in restitution, following his guilty plea in December 2012 to one count of health care fraud related to the Texas Medicaid program. In addition, Goodwin must forfeit $1,558,911, which are the gross proceeds traceable to his offense, as well as more than $244,000 the government seized in May and July 2011 from his JP Morgan Chase accounts. Judge Robinson ordered that he surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on April 29, 2013. Today’s announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

According to documents filed in the case, from January 2008 through March 2011, Goodwin devised a scheme to defraud the Texas Medicaid program by billing the program at least $2,626,125 for services he claimed he provided, when in fact, as he well knew, some of the services were not medically necessary, or dental assistants provided those services when no dentist or orthodontist was present to supervise, and even when present, did not directly supervise or provide any services.

Goodwin practiced orthodontic dentistry approximately two weeks each month at Goodwin Orthodontics in Amarillo and approximately two weeks each month at his Indiana office. In order to maximize the number of Medicaid patients seen, on numerous occasions, Goodwin had his employees schedule more than 100 patients per day and intentionally schedule large numbers of Medicaid patients for days when Goodwin was scheduled to be out of town. To accommodate the large volume of patients, Goodwin directed dental assistants to perform impermissible acts, including comprehensive examinations, diagnoses and treatment planning for Medicaid patients when he knew that only licensed dentists were permitted to perform those acts.

Goodwin devised a generic treatment guideline for dental assistants to follow in treating Medicaid beneficiaries that included dental assistants making treatment decisions at most appointments, without Goodwin examining the patients; confirming or revising the diagnoses; or confirming or revising the treatment plans. Goodwin also caused his billing staff to falsely and fraudulent state on Medicaid claims that he was the performing provider for all services that had been impermissibly delegated to and performed by dental assistants.

In April 2009, Goodwin hired substitute general dentists to create the appearance of direct supervision of dental assistants when he was away from the office. These substitute dentists were not enrolled Medicaid orthodontic providers. These substitutes did not provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries, did not directly supervise the dental assistants who provided the services, and were not always present in the office for orthodontic procedures. Again, Goodwin caused his billing staff to falsely and fraudulently state on Medicaid claims that he was the performing provider for all services performed when he was out of town and dental assistants provided those services when a substitute dentist was present to supervise, but did not directly supervise or provide any services.

Goodwin also instructed his dental assistants to falsely and fraudulently indicate in the patient records that an “adjustment” was performed on every visit, except for the initial consult, when no such adjustment had been provided and when he knew this violated Medicaid Rules.

The case was investigated by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of Office of the Texas Attorney General and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Drake and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sally Helmer were in charge of the prosecution, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Kozub handled the forfeiture.
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Semi Brakes to Avoid Collision and Spills Load on I-80/94

A semi driver lost part of his load this afternoon when he braked to avoid another semi causing all travel lanes west bound on I-80 just west of Burr
Street to be closed.
Preliminary investigation by Trooper Brian White revealed that at approximately 1:28p.m., a 2006 Volvo semi pulling a covered flat bed, driven by Philip Johnson, 50 of
Haviland, Ohio, was west bound on I-80 in the left center lane when another semi pulled out in front of him from the right center lane.  This caused Johnson to brake
sharply which caused his load of 46,641 pounds of aluminum sheeting to shift and slide forward.  Johnson’s load came loose and approximately ¼ of the aluminum was
strewn across all west bound travel lanes. 

Johnson was not injured and no other vehicles hit the aluminum.  Traffic was able to get by on both shoulders until approximately 2:30 p.m. when the three left lanes
were reopened.   All lanes were reopened at 3:00 p.m.  The semi was owned by J. Trans Incorporated out of Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Johnson was cited for an expired medical card.

Assisting:  Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Trooper Tim Grayson and Indiana Department of Transportation Hoosier Helpers
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