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UPDATE: Tanker Truck Fire on Toll Road

Traffic-Alert
The westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road between Lake Station and Portage is closed at this hour due to an accident and tanker truck fire. Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say the tanker truck on fire was carrying salt.  Earlier we had word that two semi trucks may have been involved in this accident, which occurred on the westbound side of the Indiana Toll Road near Ripley Street.  Police say westbound traffic was being diverted at Willowcreek in Portage.   The fire reportedly started in the cab and did not reach the tanker portion, according to the latest information available from police....

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Crash on Toll Road in Lake Station

Traffic-Alert
Indiana State Police at the Toll Road say they are responding to the report of an accident involving two semis.  The crash is reportedly on the westbound side before Ripley Street in the Lake Station area....

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Port Sees Increase in Tonnage Through September

BurnsHarborAerial
With the end of navigation season approaching, the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor saw a 16 percent increase in total tonnage through September, putting it on pace for its highest annual total in over six years, according to figures released this week by the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“Steel and steel-related byproducts continue to drive strong shipment numbers through the port in conjunction with a steady increase in other bulk commodities such as coal, fertilizer and limestone," according to Port Director Rick Heimann. “Looking ahead, we expect this trend to continue next month as we already have on the books a shipment of distillery tanks from Germany bound for a brewery expansion in Chicago.”
The St. Lawrence Seaway also reported that year-to-date total cargo shipments for the period March 22 to September 30 were 23 million metric tons. The number is down 11 percent over the same period in 2012, but U.S. ports saw increased tonnage in several cargo categories."At least a dozen ships from Europe unloaded steel products at the ports of Cleveland, Milwaukee, Burns Harbor and Detroit over the past month; a clear sign that the end of the navigation season is approaching and shippers are working diligently to get products out of the mills and into the Seaway System before the end of the year," said Rebecca Spruill, Director Trade Development for the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.  "Although overall cargo tonnage is down, September provided many positive signs that the next three months will be extremely busy for our ports and terminal operators in the Great Lakes-Seaway System."  [Photo/Ports of Indiana-Burns Harbor]...

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Positive Report from Indiana Realtors

Home sales continue to climb in Indiana. According to the monthly Indiana Real Estate Markets Report released Monday by the state's REALTORS® the number of existing, single-family homes sold last month statewide increased 14.3 percent when compared with September 2012. The report also showed the median sale price of those 6,342 homes is $123,500 – a 2.9 percent increase from the same month of last year.
Monday's report "contains some of the best news we’ve shared,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, 2013 President of the Indiana Association of REALTORS®. “Fall usually brings a slowdown to housing markets and while September followed that seasonal trend, home sales and prices across Indiana were significantly higher than the same month of the last two years. Statewide, we are well past the recovery stage and appear to be moving toward a stable, balanced marketplace. Whether we fully achieve that status depends on real employment and wage growth, as well as consumer confidence."
Additional information from the Indiana Association of Realtors:
Other year-over-year, statewide comparisons from the report show -
• The average sale price of homes increased 3.6 percent to $146,553
• The percent of original list price received increased 1.6 percent to 92.3 percent
• The number of pending home sales increased 9.9 percent to 5,483
• The number of new listings increased 13.1 percent to 9,497
September 2013 was the 27th consecutive month of year-over-year gains in the number of closed home sales, and marked these other consecutive year-over-year gains –
• The median sale price of homes has increased for 22 months
• The average sale price has increased for 21 months
• Sellers received a greater share of their original list price for the 19th month
• The number of pending home sales has increased for 24 months...

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Vehicle Fire on I-65 in Lake County

carfire
Traffic alert: Crews are responding to a vehicle fire on southbound I-65 at US 30 on right-hand side. INDOT reports the ramp of southbound I-65 is closed near US 30 due to the fire. Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes as you travel southbound on I-65 near mile 253. [Image/Indiana Department of Transportation cameras]...

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Hold-ups in Schererville, Dyer Investigated

Police in the Tri-Town area say a series of holdups over the weekend may be related. Police are investigating two cases of people being robbed at gunpoint inside their garages, one at 7:30 Sunday night on Lancelot Lane in Dyer, and another about a half-hour later on Mackinaw Place in Schererville. Friday night, about 8-o'clock, Schererville Police say three people reported being held-up at an ATM at Chase Bank in the 18-hundred block of Kennedy Avenue. Police say the victims had driven up to the machine when a man walked up to the driver's side, demanding the cash, and later threatened them with a handgun....

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Frosty Temps Hit the Region

tempchart
[Image/National Weather Service Chicago]
Region residents finding a chilly morning today as the area sees its first widespread freeze of the season.  The National Weather Service Chicago says a Freeze Warning remains in effect until 8-o'clock this morning (Central Daylight Time).    Forecasters say a Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely, conditions that will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation.   Meteorologist also say a fast-moving storm system will likely bring a mix of rain and snow to som parts of northern Illinois, and lake adjacaent counties in northwest Indiana may see lake effect rain showers change to snow late tonight.  There is the chance, forecasters say, for rates that could sharply drop visibility and some lightning is possible within these showers.  ...

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Governor to Join UPS, Kinetrix Energy for Announcement

The office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence says a major announcement – regarding energy and job creation - is happening this morning [10am EDT]  in Indianapolis. The Governor will be joined by Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and representatives from United Parcel Service and Kinetrex Energy, a unit of Citizens Energy Group that provides liquefied natural gas [LNG].  The event is happening at a liquefied natural gas (LNG) refueling facility operated by Kinetrex....

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Double Homicide Person of Interest in Custody

Through preliminary reports, autopsies, dental records and DNA the Lake County Coroner's office has postively identified the victims of the double homicide discovered last Friday during a welfare check in an unincorporated area of Lowell.


At a Monday afternoon press conference, Lake County Sheriff John Bunsich released the names of the victims, 68-year-old Clifford Snow (a retired Hammond school teacher) and his wife, 66 year-old Joyce Snow, whose bodies were found inside their residence located on 197th Avenue near Calumet Avenue.

 
SNOW MUGG
(Thomas Jeffrey Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department)


Sheriff Buncich says a person of interest, identified as the deceased couple's son, 34 year-old Thomas Snow was reportedly in the area days prior to the murder.  On Friday night the sheriff's department issued an all points bulletin for Snow and his deceased parents 2008, white Chevrolet HHR.  The sheriff says the suspect, who has a history of drug abuse, auto theft and feeling officers, was wanted by the Newton County Sheriff's department for an alleged armed robbery that took place at Bozeman's Marathon in DeMotte on Thursday, the day before the decomposed bodies were found. Sheriff Buncich says during a high speed pursuit on State Road 10, Snow was able to loose Newton County police into Will County, Illinois.


clifford Snow
(Clifford Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department) 


joyce snow
(Joyce Snow.  Photo provided by Lake County Sheriff's Department)


On Saturday, October 19th the Lake County Sheriff's Department received word that Snow was picked up by police after a pursuit following a traffic stop in Hawley, Minnesota, which located in the northwest part of the state about 15-miles east of Fargo, North Dakota.  Snow was driving  
Sheriff Buncich says Newton county authorities are in the process of extraditing Snow to Newton County where he faces armed robbery charges.  While no charges are currently pending in connection to the double homicide, Bunsich says the Lake County Sheriff's Department will work with Lake County Prosecutor and file charges once Snow is back in the state.


1
(Lake County Coroner, Merrilee Frey with Sheriff John Buncich at Monday, October 21st press conference at Lake County Sheriff's headquarters.  Photo courtesy of Jay Stevens)


At the end of the press conference to ease the concern of neighbors and residents of rural Lowell, where the homicides took place, Sheriff Buncich stressed that Snow targeted his family and that it was an isolated incident. ...

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Alcohol Suspected in I-65 Rollover

drunk semi rollover 1
(Photos Courtesy of Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
A rolled over semi closed all lanes of southbound I-65 near Lowell early this morning for over two-and-a-half hours. Indiana State Police Lowell Post reports 28 year old Devon House, of Florida, was heading south on I-65, two miles north of the Lowell exit, at approximately 12:30am, when his semi went off the roadway, House over-corrected, lost control and the semi rolled over onto the passenger side, hitting an informational sign. Authorities say House was taken to a local hospital where his blood-alcohol level tested point-two-seven. House and his female passenger were not injured in the crash and all southbound lanes of I-65 were reopened around 3am.
drunk semi rollover 2 ...

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