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Light Snow and Cold Temps Expected Tonight

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More snow for parts of the Midwest. Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the National Weather Center, says they expect some light accumulation -- for example, snow -- maybe a little bit more than light, when you get into Iowa and into parts of northern Illinois.   The National Weather Service in Chicago says, in northwest Indiana, expect light snow after sunset until around midnight with a total accumulation of a few tenths to around one-inch expected.

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Former Ind Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr., 1932-2013

Former Democratic Indiana Congressman Andy Jacobs, Jr., passed away Saturday night at his home in Indianapolis. A former Marine, Jacobs was a combat infantryman in the Korean War. Jacobs was elected to represent Indiana's Eleventh Congressional District in 1964, which later was redistricted into the Tenth District, lost his seat in 1972, then regained it two years later, serving in the US House of Representatives until retiring from Congress in 1997. Jacobs was 81. 
Granger, Ind. – Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement on the passing of former Congressman Andy Jacobs:
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of former Congressman Jacobs. I enjoyed getting to know Andy over the years, and his decades of tireless service to the people of Indiana is an example I try to follow. Jill and I send our thoughts and prayers to Kim, Andy Jr., Steven, and all of Andy's family during this difficult time.”
Indianapolis - Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued the following statement:
“Andy Jacobs, Jr.'s contributions to the life of our state and nation are incalculable and I mark his passing with a sense of personal loss. Andy Jacobs personified the kind of principled and compassionate leadership that Hoosiers most admire and he will be greatly missed. 
Before serving a long and illustrious career as a member of the United States House of Representatives, Andy Jacobs served his nation in the United States Marine Corps as a combat infantryman.  Upon his return from military service, he dedicated the next three decades of his life to public service. Andy Jacobs served as a member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1959-1960. Later, he was elected to represent Indiana’s Tenth Congressional District in 1964, serving in the same Indianapolis Congressional seat held by his father in 1948-1950. 
During his early years in Congress, Representative Jacobs helped to write the 1965 Voting Rights Act.  As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, Representative Jacobs was known for his tireless efforts to improve the lives of America’s senior citizens by enhancing the Social Security Administration and the Medicare program.
Throughout his career, Representative Jacobs was recognized by colleagues on both sides of the aisle as a champion for his principles and a man of impeccable character.
When Representative Jacobs retired from Congress in 1997, he left a legacy of leadership and a reputation for integrity among his peers and the people that he served. 
On behalf of my entire family, I express our deepest sympathies and prayers to his family, his wife Kim, and to his two sons during this difficult time. God bless you, Andy Jacobs. Your compassion and servant leadership left Indiana and our nation better for you having been here.  You will be sorely missed and your many contributions to Indiana will be remembered always.”...

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Cell Phone Detection Program Introduced

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The Indiana Department of Correction has announced a new program aimed at combating cell phone trafficking in Indiana’s prisons.  The Cell Phone Detection K-9 Program has successfully completed its pilot phase, training two cell-phone-sniffing dogs at the Pendleton Correctional Facility and Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Photo: (from Indiana Department of Correction): Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie search a housing unit at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility.
Corrections officials say cell phones are among the biggest challenges prison officials face today, and cell phone detection K-9s are the latest tool for sniffing out the problem. “In the hands of offenders, cell phones not only threaten the safety and security of our facilities, but can also pose a serious threat to the public,” stated IDOC Commissioner Bruce Lemmon. “In many cases, offenders use them to circumvent prison phone monitoring systems, oftentimes to run criminal operations on the outside, plan escapes, facilitate acts of violence inside and outside of prison, communicate with gang associates, or traffic drugs and other contraband into our facilities.”
The Cell Phone Detection K-9 program pilot began in September 2013 with an intensive eight week training course developed by IDOC’s Emergency Operations Division, based off a similar program implemented by the GEO Group at the New Castle Correctional Facility. The training program began with basic fundamental detection work and handler skills, including obedience and socialization, then progressed to real working conditions. The handler and K-9 are trained in personnel searches, vehicle searches, area searches, and property searches.
Commissioner Lemmon added, “This issue has plagued states across the country, and the K-9 detection program has proven to be a cost effective solution to fighting the serious issue of illegal cell phones in prison.”
In 2012, 2560 cell phones were confiscated inside Indiana’s 20 adult correctional facilities. Monthly sweeps in cells around Indiana turn up anywhere from 50 to 60 cell phones. So far this year, the Department has seized over 1000 phones, which are often smuggled in by visitors or staff and can be sold for as much as $1200 on the inside.
The handlers and dogs were hand selected by the pilot facilities. Wabash Valley chose Officer Jarod Collenbaugh and K-9 Dixie, and Pendleton chose Officer Brantley Ferguson and K-9 Port.  All IDOC K-9s are donated to the Department and training costs are minimal training costs. The IDOC has future plans to implement this program statewide, placing a Cell Phone Detection K-9 in every IDOC facility.
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Fatal Motor Vehicle Accident in Lake Station

In Lake Station overnight, police say a 25-year-old Hobart man was killed in a motor vehicle accident. The Lake County Coroner's office says John Garcia, Jr., suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead at approximately 12:30 this morning at St. Mary Medical Center's emergency room. Officials say the crash occurred in the 38-hundred block of Liverpool Road....

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Illinois Woman Disappears in Indiana Flood Waters

Indiana Conservation Officers are investigating the disappearance of a Des Plaines, Illinois, woman. Officials say 31-year-old Cathryn McGill was a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her husband, 35-year-old Adam McGill when their vehicle was swept off the roadway in flood waters on Highway 257 near the Pike – Daviess County Line in southwest Indiana. Adam McGill was rescued but his wife couldn' t be found. Search efforts that included bank searches, side scan sonar, canine searches, wading shallow water and dragging operations, concluded at dusk. Water-based search efforts were scheduled to resume this morning.  Responding agencies included Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, Pike County Sheriff’s Department, Harrison Fire Department, Jefferson Township Fire Department, Southwest Medical, Pike County EMS, Pike County EMA, Ohio Valley Search and Rescue, American Red Cross and Indiana Conservation Officers. ...

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Hobart Fire Battalion Chief Passes Away

A 48-year-old Hobart firefighter who police say crashed his minivan into his home near Hebron earlier this month has died. Porter County Sheriffs Police say John Wall suffered severe burns to his face and hands in a domestic incident December 10th in which the van he was driving and part of the house caught fire. Wall, who authorities say was on leave from the fire department after allegedly threatening his wife with a gun last month, was a battalion chief in Hobart and had worked for the fire department for twenty years. Cause of death was pending an autopsy scheduled for today. Porter County Sheriffs Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower said the family told police that Wall went into septic shock Saturday and was subsequently taken off a ventilator.  Tom Castle, president for the Hobart Firefighters Local 1641, said Wall was a hard worker who was held in high regard by the department and could have been Hobart's next fire chief....

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Police Say Icy Roads Factor in Fatal Crash

The Lake County Coroners office says an 80-year-old Crown Point man was killed in a crash in the 75-hundred block of East 117th Street Sunday afternoon. Officials say Paul Plumer suffered blunt force trauma. He was transported to an area hospital where authorities say he died shortly after 3 pm. Lake County Sheriffs Police say shortly before 2:30 the man was heading west on 117th when his Buick LaSabre began to go left of center, then went off the road and struck a tree. Investigators believe icy road conditions contributed to the crash....

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Wintry Conditions Returning to the Region

Wintry weather returning to the Region... with freezing rain, freezing drizzle, snow showers and bitterly cold temperatures all in our forecast. After relatively mild temperatures Saturday, temperatures are in the 30s today, and a Freezing Rain Advisory has been issued for much of northwest Indiana.  Meteorologists say freezing drizzle may result in a glazing of ice on area roads. Here's a look at the forecast at the National Weather Service Chicago website:  http://www.crh.noaa.gov/lot/...

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IDOT Bridge Inspections at Bishop Ford Over Little Cal

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)  announced that weather permitting, an inspection of the bridges at I-94/Bishop Ford Freeway northbound & southbound bridges over the Little Calumet River, 1.3 miles north of Illinois Route 83 in Calumet City, is scheduled today (Saturday, December 28, 2013). 
In order to complete the work,  lane closures on northbound and southbound I-94 (Bishop Ford Freeway) will be necessary. The left lane will be closed from approximately 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Motorists should anticipate delays and allow extra time for trips through this area. Motorists are asked to please obey the speed limit, observe closure signs and remain alert for workers.  Find details on other construction projects in IDOT’s District 1 at http://www.dot.state.il.us  IDOT says additional updates on the impacts to traffic are available at www.travelmidwest.com ....

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Melting Ice Falling From Hancock Building

With the upswing in temperatures, a downtown Chicago hazard we're hearing about -- melting chunks of ice falling from the John Hancock building Friday night. Warning signs were posted and the affected area was blocked off by police....

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