INDOT: One Day Closure Thursday of SR 2 in Westville

Indot Logo color
LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. – The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) announces the one day closure of State Road 2, between U.S. 421 and U.S. 6 in Westville on Thursday, June 27th. Crews will be repairing the shoulder of the road.
Drivers wishing to travel west on SR 2 will be detoured south on U.S. 421, west on U.S. 6, and back to SR 2. Drivers wishing to travel east on SR 2 will be detoured east on U.S. 6, north on U.S. 421, and back to SR 2.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For the latest road closures and news from INDOT, like us at and follow us at
You can find traffic restriction information at  Contact the LaPorte District toll free at 1-855-GO-INDOT.
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Valpo Officials Urge Residents to Limit Water Use

City of valpo
Many residents in the region this morning dealt with street flooding due to overwhelmed sewer systems, including in Valparaiso, which received two-point-three inches of rain in two and a half hours. The City's Utility Director stated he had not seen the detention basins filled to the level they were today since 2008. The city has been preparing for rain events like today for years, with sewer separation projects like Valparaiso Street and Evans Avenue, which the Utility Director says significantly improved their ability to handle the extraordinary rainfall, cut down the number of phone calls from large amounts in past years to just a handful, and that within hours, streets were able to be reopened as the water dissipated and the wastewater treatment facility and pumping stations accommodated the higher flows.
In anticipation of more rain today, Valparaiso residents are urged to limit water use to avoid overwhelming the city's sewer system.
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Munster PD Seek Help to Identify Woman

Munster Police POI
(Photo Courtesy of the Munster Police Department)
Police in Munster are seeking information from the public to help in identifying an individual in reference to a theft/credit card incident Monday. Munster Police released a photo of the person, a woman, shown leaving the Target store on Calumet Avenue.  Anyone with information on the identity of this individual is asked to contact the Munster Police Department’s Investigation Division at (219) 836-6600 or the department’s anonymous hotline at (219) 836-1010.
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Semi Fire Closes NB I-65 for an Hour and a Half

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(Photos Courtesy of the Indiana State Police Lowell Post)
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A semi fire on northbound I-65 this morning shutdown all lanes of traffic so crews could extinguish the blaze. Indiana State Police Lowell Post report just after 7:30am, a semi pulling a box trailer was heading north near the Ridge Road exit, when the driver noticed smoke coming from his exhaust stacks, and shortly thereafter, the semi tractor began to burn, and then became fully engulfed. Authorities report the driver of the semi was not injured, but his box trailer loaded with canned food sustained smoke damage. State Police say all northbound lanes of I-65 were reopened just after 9am.
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Hoosiers Urged to Protect Against Swine Flu

indiana state department of health
INDIANAPOLIS—State health officials are encouraging Hoosiers to take steps to protect themselves at county and 4H fairs around the state this summer following detection of four cases of variant influenza A (H3N2v). All individuals visited the Grant County Agricultural Fair, June 16-22, prior to illness, and at least two had contact with swine.  Variant influenza A H3N2v was identified in Indiana last year, with a total of 138 cases in 2012.
The Indiana State Department of Health and the Grant County Health Department continue to investigate these cases. Human infections with H3N2v are rare but have most commonly occurred after close proximity to live infected pigs, such as working with them in barns and livestock exhibits at fairs. Influenza viruses are not transmitted by eating pork and pork products. 
According to the State Board of Animal Health, thirteen pigs at the fair tested positive for H3N2.  It is not uncommon for pigs to be infected with swine influenza viruses but not show any signs of illness.  If ill with influenza they typically recover.
“Fairs are a great way to get outdoors, have some fun and learn about agriculture,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “If you plan to attend a fair this summer, just be sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid taking food into areas where animals are kept.”
Symptoms of variant influenza A include: fever, cough, sore throat, chills, headache and muscle aches. Diarrhea and nausea may occur in children. Symptoms can begin approximately one to four days after being exposed to the illness and last from two to seven days.
As several county fairs will open in the next few weeks, State health officials are increasing surveillance for influenza-like illness. 
“We are increasing our surveillance so we can learn more about this virus and because antiviral treatment is most effective if given within 48 hours,” said Dr. VanNess. “It’s important to contact your health care provider if you begin experiencing flu-like symptoms.”
And if you have visited a fair or been around animals, let your health care provider know. Influenza antiviral drugs can treat infection with H3N2v and quick treatment is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, including the very young, the elderly, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease and pregnant women.
Visiting animal exhibits is fun and educational, and Hoosiers are reminded to follow some simple safety steps to prevent illness. Wash hands with soap and water before and after petting or touching any animal. Never eat, drink or put anything in your mouth when visiting animal areas and avoid face-to-face contact with animals. People at high risk for flu complications should avoid close contact with swine in the fair setting particularly. 
While influenza is not an uncommon diagnosis in pigs, the State Board of Animal Health encourages swine owners to contact a veterinarian if their animals show signs consistent with flu, including coughing, respiratory illness, off-feed and fever. Most county fairs have a private veterinary practitioner on call for on-site assistance.
Since there is no vaccine available for people to protect against this H3N2v virus, the best way to prevent infection with variant influenza is to avoid sources of exposure to the virus. As always good hygiene and other everyday preventive actions are important to take as well. Wash your hands frequently. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow. Avoid contact with people or animals that are ill. Stay home if you develop influenza symptoms and contact your health care provider. 

In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 309 infections with H3N2v in the United States. According to the CDC, most of these infections resulted in mild illness, though 16 people were hospitalized and one person died. Most of the people who were hospitalized and the person who died had one or more high risk conditions.
For more information about variant influenza A, visit or follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at
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Rain Causes Closure of Johson Rd at Pahs in LaPorte Co

LAPORTE, In. – Heavy rain this morning has washed away a portion of Johnson Road at the Pahs Road intersection. This intersection is closed indefinitely. Multiple road closed signs have been placed on the scene and we ask that traffic use the posted detour route.
Northbound: From Johnson Road, left on 400 N, right on 900 W (Woodland Avenue), right on Hwy 20 to Johnson Road.
Southbound: From Johnson Road, right on Hwy 20, left on 900 W (Woodland Avenue), left on
900 W to Johnson Road.
The full extent of the damage is not known, however the closure is expected to be in effect for an extended period of time. Highway officials are working on getting emergency funding to begin planning for repairs.  There are also several areas with high water so we ask that you drive with caution.
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Public's Help Sought in Death Investigation of Teenager

porter co sheriff dept
Porter County Sheriffs Police are asking for the public's help in a death investigation involving a 17-year-old boy. Police say they were called out to the 400 block of Sturgeon Road west of Valparaiso around 5-o'clock Tuesday evening for a teenage boy lying unconscious in the road Authorities say Cody Riffett, who lived near where he was found, was pronounced dead at an area hospital last night. Police issued a news release saying Porter County Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the victim’s death, and that there is evidence that drugs may have contributed to the situation. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says an autopsy is being conducted today.   Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Captain Jeff Biggs at 477-3141.
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Look Out for High Water, Downed Lines

cton park
Taken at Thomas Centennial Park in downtown Chesterton this morning
Much of the standing water reported earlier in the Region has apparently receded, but the Region could see additional showers and storms today and tonight.
Porter County Highway Department reports high water along numerous roads and in subdivisions today, after a lot of rain fell in a very short amount of time: two inches of rain in 37 minutes.  Assistant Highway Supervisor at the Porter County Highway Department David James says that resulted in general flooding around the county. A couple roads were blocked due to storm damage: County Road 125 West south of US 6 in the South Haven area is closed due to trees down as is County Road 750-West at 595-North, just south of Route 130 in the Wheeler area.  Hear our interview with James online here at News Audio on Demand.
NIPSCO and contracted crews from the midwest have been working around the clock making repairs after multiple rounds of heavy thunderstorms have come across the Region since Monday night.
[Photo/Karl Berner]

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Fire Follows Smoke From Behind Sign

IMAG4654 WinCE
An overnight fire damages a strip mall on the north side of Valparaiso. A Valparaiso police officer discovered the fire, while responding to a business alarm at the Fagen Pharmacy on north Calumet Avenue at that same mall. The officer smelled smoke, police say, apparently coming from behind a Jimmy John's sign. At one point, flames were showing from the roof. Valparaiso Assistant Fire Chief Dan Lamb says the apparent cause is the Jimmy John's sign on the outside of the building. Lamb also said none of the interiors of the building were affected by fire, but sections did sustain smoke and water damage. There were no injuries reported.
[Photo courtesy Tom Martin]

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Fire Damages Valpo Strip Mall

stripmall fire 3
No word at this hour what caused a fire at a strip mall on north Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso, damaging at least two restaurants.
A Valparaiso police officer discovered the fire -- while responding to a business alarm at the Fagen Pharmacy on north Calumet Avenue, Valparaiso Police say, the officer smelled smoke, apparently coming from behind the Jimmy John's sign at the strip mall they share. At one point, flames were showing from the roof. No word on if there were any injuries. Other businesses in that mall include JD Crepe Company, a Coolwood Cleaners location, and a physical therapy office.

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