Hammond FD Recipient of FEMA SAFER Grant

Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that the Hammond Fire Department is one of three in the state to receive FEMA's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grants. According to the press release, the Hammond Fire Department will receive 965-thousand dollars. Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they are very grateful to be awarded a grant of this magnitude.
Donnelly said, “Indiana’s firemen and women are some of the bravest and hardest working members of our community. I am proud to see these departments receive the federal support they need. This grant money will help them serve their communities much more safely and efficiently by allowing them to hire additional fire fighters. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve our support.”
The SAFER grant program was created to increase the number of trained fire fighters available to communities in need. More information about these competitive grants can be found at
For more information on how Senator Donnelly’s office can assist groups applying for federal grants, please visit

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Car Fire in Valpo Wal-Mart Parking Lot

Car Fire at Wal-Mart re
Fire crews from the Valparaiso Fire Department are on the scene of a car fire that was first reported around 2 p.m. Friday afternoon in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart located at 2400 Morthland Dr. No one was reported inside the vehicle at the time of the fire. 
Traffic tipsters reported that black smoke from the fire could been seen from some distance and attracted a lot of curious on- lookers.

(photo/Radio One Communications)

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Jackknifed Semi Blocking Left Lanes NB I-65

01-10-14  Jackknifed semi I-65
Crews are on the scene of a crash reportedly involving a pick up truck and a jackknifed semi truck in Merrillville. INDOT is reporting that the two left lanes northbound I-65 are blocked at this time between 101st Avenue and US 30. 
Tipsters are reporting traffic backed up to US 231 the Crown Point exit with a gapers slowdown SB I-65 from US-30.  
Drivers should seek an alternate route including US231 to State Rd. 55/Broadway or 109th Avenue to Colorado Street to US30 back to I-65, or 109th Avenue to Broadway to US30 back to I-65.


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Semi Hits Car on State Road 2 West, Flees the Scene

LaPorte PD
Police in LaPorte are investigating a hit-and-run accident involving a car and semi that occurred just after 5pm Thursday in the 13-hundred block of State Road 2 West. LaPorte Police say the victim informed officers he was driving west on State Road 2, in the outside lane, with a semi traveling next to him on the inside lane, when as they neared the entrance to Kabelin's Ace Hardware the semi allegedly started to make a right turn into his path of travel and the trailer struck the front driver's side of his vehicle. Police report the impact sent the victim's vehicle into a snow bank and that the semi continued into the lot of Ace Hardware and then left the scene. No injuries were reported and anyone with any information regarding this incident is asked to contact the LaPorte Police Department at 362-9446 and you can remain anonymous.  ...

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Highway Avenue in Highland Reopened to Motorists

Highland PD
The 28-hundred block of Highway Avenue in Highland, from Kennedy Avenue to 4th Street has been reopened to motorists this afternoon after heavy snow accumulated on the front canopy of Bibles for Missions, causing the canopy and the front facade of the storefront to collapse on the sidewalk in front of the building. Highland Police Commander George Georgeff says pedestrian traffic on the north side of the 28-hundred block of Highway Avenue have been blocked off in front of those businesses.
Commander Georgeff says they have made contact with some other building owners who are now in the process of removing snow from the canopies in front of their businesses. He also recommends anyone with a flat roof in Lake County should consider addressing any large amounts of snow as the rain could add weight and compromise buildings that are not structurally sound. The incident occurred around 10am this morning....

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Heavy Snow Causes Structural Collapse in Highland

Highland Police say due to a major structural collapse this morning at 2821 Highway Avenue, Bibles for Missions, the 28-hundred block of Highway Avenue from Kennedy Avenue to 4th Street will be closed.  Police say initial indications are that heavy snow accumulating on the front canopy of the building caused the canopy and front facade to collapse.  There were no injuries reported due to the collapse, authorities say.  The Highland Police Department, Fire Department and Public Works Department have responded to the scene....

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Many Provide Help During Winter Storm

Region residents have been reaching out to express their thanks to the many, many in northwest Indiana who spent long hours helping others, making repairs, plowing roads, coming to rescues, getting to their jobs as police officers, fire crews, doctors, nurses, emergency responders, veterinarians, utility workers, and more during the winter storm and the 'polar vortex' that moved in afterwards. Here's an email we received we wanted to pass along... "My mom was locked out of her apartment on Sunday. I could not get there so we called the Valparaiso police department and they came to the rescue!! They came to my house to get my keys and brought them to her. In the confusion I did not get the officers name but both my mom and I would like to give him a big thank you!!! Sincerely, Lorna" ...

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New Lake Central HS Academic Wing Now Open

In St. John, a delayed introduction to the new three-story classroom addition at Lake Central High School. After Christmas break, school was out a couple days due to the winter storm. The school district is scheduled to host an open house for the community February 9. The school corporation broke ground in August 2012 for extensive renovations at the high school. Officials said construction would be completed in phases so the existing high school could continue to function, with new sections being built and old ones demolished over a three-year period until the work is completed in 2015.  Together with replacing Protsman Elementary School, the district is investing 160- million dollars to enlarge and update school facilities, funded by bonds approved by taxpayers in a referendum in November 2011. School officials said the high school renovation was prompted by aging infrastructure in the 1964 core of the building and overcrowding due to dramatic enrollment growth. In 2011, they say twenty teachers taught in portable classrooms....

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Mechanical Problems Delay South Shore

Mechanical problems were delaying the South Shore commute for some riders up to an hour this morning.  For updates from Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD):

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AUDIO: Polar Vortex Effect on Region Fruit Trees

The so-called Polar Vortex that just exited the Region will likely have an effect this year's fruit crops in Indiana, says Lake County Purdue Extension Educator Nikky Witkowski, who spoke to our Jay Stevens.  Most apple and pear trees in the Region are able to endure a zone five winter even with this season's below zero temperatures, but Witkowski says peach trees are less tolerant. There are also differences between the different varieties.  Witkowski also says the majority of the Region's blackberry and blueberry plants should be okay as the ample snow cover can actually insulate plants from the cold temperatures. Witkowski also says there are steps that can be taken once the warmer weather arrives. To hear the interview visit News Audio on Demand here at our website....

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