Dunewood Campground Fee Goes Up

The fee for camping at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore's Dunewood Campground goes up to $18 this Thursday (May 9). The increase of three-dollars a night was approved by the National Park Service to cover the cost of adding municipal water to the campground. A new waterline was installed last year and went into service earlier this spring.
National Park officials say the new water system will improve the quality and reliability of the water supply compared to the previous well system and increases the capacity of hydrants to provide fire protection.
Before approving the increase, the National Park Service solicited public comment and received no negative comments. Surveys of comparable campgrounds in Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan were also conducted and found that prices ranged from $19.00 - $29.50.


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Wet Fields Delay Planting

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Water on an Indiana farm field following frequent rains in April. (Purdue Agricultural Communication photo/Tom Campbell)
In a year's time, Hoosier farmers have gone from one weather extreme to another.... last year, a drought... this year, too wet. As farmers look to have at the latest, corn in the ground by about the middle of June, Purdue Extension Agronomist Bob Nielsen says that is actuallly plenty of time to get a lot accomplished in time for the growing season. "On a good week, we can plant somewhere around thirty-percent of the state's crop in a single week, " Nielsen said. "Over four weeks time we certainly hope that we can get everything in the ground during that time."
But right now, Hoosiers farmers are way behind what would be a more typical planting schedule.   Nielsen, Purdue Extension corn specialist, says only one-percent of Indiana's corn crop was planted by the week ending April 28, compared to 67-percent last year... and the latest report out this week stills shows only eight-percent planted, compared to last year, when over eighty-percent of the crop had been planted.
"Over the past few years, in the even-numbered years we've had early planting, and in the odd-numbered years we've had late planting," he noted. This year, it's been so slow that it is among the five slowest years for spring planting in the past 20, Nielsen said.  Purdue officials say Indiana had the seventh-wettest April on record, with a statewide average of 6.4 inches of precipitation - nearly 3 inches above normal.
You can hear our interview with Bob Nielsen here at our website at News Audio on Demand.

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EC Waterfront Meeting

The City of East Chicago is holding their second Waterfront Revitalization Initiative Public Meeting this evening at the East Chicago Public Library (Tue May 07 5:30pm -8pm). Residents are asked to take a few minutes to complete the 'Waterfront Survey' available at the city website's home page. The revitalization effort in East Chicago was initiated with the help of a seven million dollar grant from the Regional Development Authority.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 5:30 pm at East Chicago Public Library
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm—Open Viewing
6:00 pm to 6:15 pm—Opening Remarks
6:15 pm to 7:15 pm—Lakef ront Revitalization Initiative Presentation
7:15 pm to 8:00 pm—Public Input
East Chicago website's home pae:

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Indiana Among Best for Business

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[Graphic provided]
Indiana was ranked as the best place to do business in the Midwest and the fifth best nationwide in a survey of more than five-hundred CEO's by Chief Executive magazine. The magazine's ninth annual "Best & Worst States" survey asks chief executives to evaluate states based on business tax policies, regulation, workforce quality and livability factors. Indiana has moved up eleven places on the main list since 2010. Illinois ranked near the bottom, at 48th.   Among the other neighboring states, Kentucky ranked 29th, Ohio ranked 22nd, and Michigan ranked 44th.    Chief Executive magazine is a bi-monthly publication for top management executives published by the Chief Executive Group LLC. Founded in 1977, the Chief Executive Group LLC is headquartered in Greenwich, Conn. The "Best & Worst States," survey results are available at

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Governor to Sign School Safety Bill

There's a signing ceremony this afternoon for Indiana's new school safety bill. Indiana Governor Mike Pence will put his signature to Senate Enrolled Act One, legislation providing ten-million dollars in matching grants to help school corporations hire security officers. [1 pm Eastern]
Controversy had surrounded the measure, then lawmakers removed a plan to require all public and charter schools to have at least one person armed with a gun, to protect against school shootings. If they didn't have an officer, for instance, a school employee would have been armed to serve as a 'school protection officer'. The revised bill instead creates a summer committee to examine the idea.
On Monday, Governor Pence signed a measure that strengthens penalties for B and C felonies, computer crimes, sex crimes and hazing... and another meant to provide a 'clean slate' on certain nonviolent offenses to give people with a criminal past a “second chance,” the Governor says, and a stronger chance of finding work.

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Special Elections in the Region

2013 is a 'non-election' year for Indiana as far as public offices are concerned... but that doesn't mean Hoosiers won't be going to the ballot here in the Region and elsewhere in the state. Today (Tue May 07) a handful of Indiana school districts will hold referendums, and locally they include Munster, Metropolitan School District of Boone Township in Hebron, the Wheeler/Union Township Schools, and Knox Community Schools in Starke County. Region voters in the districts with referendums are being asked to say yes or no to a property tax increase to raise funds for the schools; the Knox ballot question specifically is construction referendum for the school district. You can hear interviews with superintendents from each of the school districts with referendums in Northwest Indiana here at our website at News Audio on Demand.  Polls are open from 6 am to 6 pm. 
May 7, 2013 Special Elections
- Barr-Reeve Community Schools (Daviess County)
- Hamilton Southeastern Schools (Hamilton County)
- Noblesville Schools (Hamilton County)
- City of Vincennes Parks & Recreation Department (Knox County)
- Munster School Referendum (Lake County)
- Metropolitan School District of Boone Township (Porter County)
- Union Township School Corporation (Porter County)
- Knox Community Schools (Starke County)

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Council Approves Lake Tax

The Lake County Council voted four-to-three Monday to approve a one-and-a-half percent local income tax. Now it goes before the Lake County Commissioners, who are expected to consider it at a special meeting this Friday [May 10th, at 8:30am.] If commissioners veto it, as two of the three have already said they plan on doing, the county council could override that, but it would take a super-majority, so at least five yes votes would be needed. Lake County is the only county in the state without a local income tax.

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Teen Dies After Being Shot While In Vehicle in Gary Saturday

Gary PD
Three teens were shot while in a vehicle in Gary Saturday, just before 8pm. Corp. Gabrielle King, of the Gary Police Department, says a 19 year old, and two 17 year old, were in a vehcile in the 19-hundred block of Clay Street when shots were fired at the vehicle, injuring all three teens and the driver. Corp. King says the 19 year old died as the result of his injuries, while the extent of the two 17 year olds who were injured is unknown at this time. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Gary Police Department.
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Train Derailment in Gary Closes Parts of 9th Ave

Gary Train Derailment
(Photo Courtesy of the Times)
A train derailment in Gary this morning has forced 9th Avenue, from Chase to Madison Streets to be closed at last check. Gary Police Public Information Office Corp. Gabrielle King says they were notified at approximately 9:45am, a couple of CSX freight train coal cars derailed and were upright off the tracks, just north of 11th Avenue. Authorities report no injuries, or lost load, due to the derailment.
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Horse Put Down on WB I-94 After Falling Out of Trailer

Indiana State Police logo
Westbound I-94, just east of the Portage exit was closed for a short time after a horse fell out of a moving trailer onto the interstate. Indiana State Police Lowell post reports, just after 11:30 this morning, a 31 year old Texas man was pulling a horse trailer in the left lane, when the eight-year old horse kicked the rear door of the trailer open. No vehicle hit the horse, but the fall caused it to break one of his legs, and he had to be put down at the scene.
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