Food Network Show in LaPorte to Transform Restaurant

A restaurant in LaPorte is hoping a television show on the Food Network can overhaul their weak spots. Restaurant: Impossible came to LaPorte's “Seven” in the five-hundred block of State Street on Wednesday and are there again today to assess every aspect of the business including updating menus, retraining staff, and along with a number of local volunteers, paint, clean, and remodel. On the show, Chef Robert Irvine attempts to save the most desperate restaurants from impending failure in two days, with a budget of ten-thousand dollars. ...

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Experts Say Asian Carp Are Adapting

asian carp
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
The Asian carp continues confound experts. The Times reports those studying the invasive species found they are much more adaptive than previously thought and a bigger threat to native species, for example, in places like the Wabash River and Flatfoot Lake. According to the article, studies are underway for a toxin to be introduced into the affected waterways to kill them and only them, but that could be expensive. A report on Asian carp, outlining five strategies, is due to Congress in January. ...

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60% Approve of Pence's Job as Governor

Gov Mike Pence
A poll recently commissioned by the Indiana Republican Party shows 60 percent of Hoosiers approve of the job Governor Mike Pence has done in his first eight-months in office. The poll, which surveyed 800 registered Indiana voters between September 12th through the 15th, also found that 51 percent of Hoosiers believe the state is heading in the right direction. As for the Governor's resistance to the federal government's push to expand Medicaid, 60 percent of men 55 and older, and 53 percent of women 55 and over, give Pence their approval on that issue....

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Westville Food Worker Arrested for Sexual Misconduct

Bilek Sonya
(Photo Courtesy of the Westville Correctional Facility)
A 29 year old Westville Facility food service worker was charged with felony sexual misconduct by a service provider after being arrested on September 7th. The Westville Correctional Facility today announced that Sonya Belik, of Michigan City, was allegedly seen by another food service worker engaging in an inappropriate activity, with one of the inmate kitchen workers, and an investigation by the facility's Internal Affairs Department is being conducted to determine if any charges or internal disciplinary action maybe taken with the inmate allegedly involved....

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New Valparaiso Police Officer Sworn In

Michael Trueblood  Chief Brickner
Valparaiso's newest police officer was sworn into duty Monday morning, September 16th, in a ceremony held at Valparaiso City Hall. Michael Trueblood, 23, is a graduate of Indiana University and Westville High School. Officer Trueblood previously had been a police officer with Indiana University Northwest in Gary for 3 years.   The hiring of Officer Trueblood increases the department to 51 sworn officers.   [Photo/Valparaiso Police Department]...

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Park Employees from Poland Visit Indiana Dunes

PolishVisitors 9-16-12
Kampinos National Park's Małgorzata Mickiewicz and Ewa Siatecka visit Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. (NPS Photo)
Two park employees from Poland are in Northwest Indiana as part of a “Sister Park” program. Małgorzata Mickiewicz and Ewa Siatecka, from Poland’s Kampinos National Park will spend three weeks at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore as part of a “Sister Park” program to learn how U.S. national parks are managed. Ms. Mickiewicz is the Deputy Director for Scientific Research, Monitoring, Education, Communication and Tourism and Ms. Siatecka is the park’s Specialist in Tourism and International Affairs. During their stay, which ends September 27th, they also want to learn how the National Park Service (NPS) plans recreational areas for people with disabilities and how it manages different user groups.
You can hear our interview with Ewa Siatecka online here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
The formal “Sister Park” program between the two national parks began in 1998 with the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation. The intent of the program is to promote international cooperation and to exchange technical and promotional knowledge that will help improve the management of both parks. Kampinos, like the national lakeshore, has upland dunes intermixed with marshes and other wetlands. Both are botanically rich with great diversity despite being located near large population centers.
Living expenses for the Polish visitors are being supported through a donation by the Dunes National Park Association. The association is a non-profit organization that supports the protection, preservation, and promotion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore....

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Officials Seek Local Input on High-Speed Rail

The second of two local public meetings to get feedback on route alternatives being evaluated for high-speed rail between Chicago and Porter, for a Tier One Environmental Impact Statement on the Chicago/Detroit Passenger Rail Corridor, takes place this afternoon at the Porter Town Hall.  Staff will be available to answer questions and exhibits along with other reference materials will be on display. The meeting run from 4pm to 7pm, with a presentation at 4:30pm. Comments will be taken at the meetings or can be filled out online, and all comments must be received by October 28th to be included in this process.
You can hear our interview with Will Wingfield from the Indiana Department of Transportation [INDOT] online here at our website at News Audio on Demand.
Fast Facts from INDOT:
-          Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation are holding a series of public meetings to obtain feedback on the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL). This is for a Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the Chicago Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor.
-          The Tier 1 EIS will help evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile corridor through three states.
-          Public comments must be received by Oct. 28 and can be submitted in multiple ways.
-          Check the website for more details.
September 4, 2013 – The Illinois, Indiana and Michigan departments of transportation, in association with the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), are announcing a second series of public meetings for the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Chicago-Detroit/Pontiac Passenger Rail Corridor Program. The meetings are being held to:
-          Update the public on the Program,
-          Present the route alternatives being evaluated between Chicago and Porter, Ind., including the area known as South of the Lake (SOTL), and
-          Obtain feedback to help determine the route alternatives to be evaluated in the Tier 1 EIS.
The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate passenger rail improvements along a 300-mile rail corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac, Mich. The Tier 1 EIS will evaluate the effects of upgrading rail infrastructure and facilities to safely accommodate potential passenger rail service improvements. Effects on the natural environment, jobs, the economy, air quality, traffic, and neighborhoods will be considered. State and federal transportation partners are seeking input from residents, business owners and other stakeholders. Staff will be available to answer questions at four upcoming meetings. Exhibits and other reference materials will be on display and presentations made.
All comments must be received by Oct. 28 to be included in this step of the Tier 1 EIS process. Multiple options for submitting comments are available including:
-          Fill out a comment form at a public meeting,
-          Use the online comment form at,
-          Call toll-free number 877- 351-0853, and
-          Mail your written comments to Bob Parsons, MDOT, P.O. Box 30050, Lansing, MI 48909.
Public meetings will be held in each of the three states and will be open to the public between 4 and 7 p.m. A presentation will be held at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on attendance and interest. The same information will be presented at each meeting. Meeting materials will also be posted to the program website on Sept. 13, 2013.
Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Chicago Union Station in the
Union Gallery Room (off the Great Hall)
500 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago, IL
Wednesday, Sept 18, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Genesis Convention Center, Lake Room
One Genesis Center Plaza, Gary, IN
Thursday, Sept 19, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (CDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Porter Town Hall, Main Floor Meeting Room
303 Franklin St., Porter, IN
Tuesday, Sept 24, 2013
4 to 7 p.m. (EDT); Presentation at 4:30 p.m. and repeated based on request.
Double Tree by Hilton Hotel
5801 Southfield Expressway, Dearborn, MI
Information about the program and how to participate can be found at the project website Sign up for program e-mail updates on the website or call toll-free at 877-351-0853. With an advance notice of seven days, MDOT can make accommodations for persons with disabilities and/or limited English-speaking ability, and persons needing auxiliary aids or services of interpreters, signers, readers, or large print. To request accommodations in any of the three states, call Bob Parsons directly at 517-373-9534 or toll free at 877-351-0853....

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Lake County Sheriff Requests Help for Demolition

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich has sent a letter to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, asking for the state to deploy National Guard petsonnel to help tear down some ten-thousand abandoned homes and commercial buildings in Gary.  Buncich says vacant properties are often locales for illegal activity and pose a danger to neighborhoods. Gary has seen forty homicides this year. Earlier this year, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson sent a letter to Governor Pence requesting the state send help to fight an increase in violent crime. ...

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PUC Gets Grant to Retrain Unemployed Workers

First District Congressman Pete Visclosky has announced that Purdue University Calumet in Hammond is getting a two-point-seven-million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to provide training to Trade Adjustment Assistance eligible workers, veterans, and others who quality who are seeking jobs in Northwest Indiana’s manufacturing industry.  It is expected that the project will impact at least 300 individuals by allowing for the opportunity to attain one or more industry certifications. Individuals receiving this training will be eligible to join the workforce as mechatronics technicians and industrial machinery mechanics.   

“Putting our citizens to work is my foremost priority. It is incumbent upon us to invest in a well-trained workforce to protect the jobs of today and create the jobs of tomorrow. I am pleased to know that this grant will address the needs of area industry and build upon the existing successes of our region’s advanced manufacturing sector,” Congressman Visclosky said. 
The U.S. Department of Labor is implementing and administering the program in coordination with the U.S. Department of Education.
Chancellor Tom Keon, Purdue University Calumet, explained that the College of Technology has been working on workforce development in Northwest Indiana for several years.  “It is important to note that our manufacturing partners need an educated workforce with proper training at many different levels.  The College of Technology at Purdue University Calumet is dedicated to providing qualified graduates and to training the NWI workforce in areas of sophistication that are needed in our ever evolving manufacturing technologies,”  Chancellor Keon said.
Photos: Congressman Visclosky visiting Purdue University Calumet’s mechatronics and advanced manufacturing laboratories. [Courtesy/Congressman Pete Visclosky's office]...

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Strong Storms, Heavy Rain, Power Outages

More than four-thousand customers of NIPSCO, mainly across Gary and Hammond, lost power during strong storms Wednesday night. As of this morning, the number is down to about 600 across the service territory, with scattered outages in the Region, also including Lowell. Valparaiso got over an inch and a half of rain by about nine-thirty last night, according to National Weather Service estimates, while as of three-o'clock this morning National Weather Service Doppler Radar estimated that four to five inches of rain has fallen in eastern Jasper County, including cities like Remington and Rensselaer, where a flash flood warning remains in effect  until 7:30 am Central Daylight Time.
To view watches and warnings click here:

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Region News Team
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