Born in Northwest Indiana, Laura's a graduate of River Forest High School (home of the Ingots) and got her bachelor's degree from Purdue and a master's from Indiana University [we think she roots for both even when they play each other].

Her work has won several awards from the Indiana Broadcasters Association, Society of Professional Journalists/Indiana Chapter, and Network Indiana. She has also had academic papers selected for presentation at national conferences like the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and Broadcast Education Association.

Laura watched her share of game shows growing up and one summer while in California, she's chosen to be a contestant on "Sale of the Century". Her TV favorites include The Honeymooners, Project Runway, Seinfeld, The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who and Star Trek (TNG and the original). She also enjoys crossword puzzles and when asked what some of her favorite places to visit are she says -- office supply stores.


Independent Cat Society in Downtown Valpo June 21

Animal Corner

The Independent Cat Society will have a booth set up outs Designer Desserts in downtown Valparaiso this Saturday, June 21st 10am to 3pm. We will have handouts and some of our beautiful cats will hopefully be making an appearance, weather depending. So come by and say hello and check out our many programs and ask about the Spring Open House and Reception being held at the ICS Shelter in Westville that day.  For more information please contact the ICS 219-785-4936.

ICS June Adoption Special, Spring Open House and More

Animal Corner

june2014 adoption
During June the Independent Cat Society will be adopting any black and white (or black with a little white) cat or kitten for only $45. A companion cat or kitten of any color is only $25. Regular adoption hours are Saturdays 10am to 4pm and Sundays 1pm to 4pm.  We will have a really SPECIAL adoption promotion during the week of June 14th through June 22nd. Along with 'special' extra adoption hours for that week. More on this special promotion coming soon!! For more information please call 219-785-4936 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

june 2014 open house spring
Also in June the Independent Cat Society will hold its annual Spring Open House at the ICS Shelter, located on Route 6 and County Line Road in Westville, IN on Saturday, June 21st from 10am to 4pm and Sunday, June 22nd from 1pm to 6pm. We will have homegrown plants, homebaked goods, catnip toys, tshirts and much more for sale. Donations would also be appreciated to help us care for our many kittens in foster care. Items such as kitten milk, kitten food, heated discs, fleece blankets, nursing bottles, etc are needed. So stop out and visit us and help us to continue our care for the many homeless cats and kittens in our area. For more information please contact the ICS at 219-785-4936 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
During June the Independent Cat Society will be hosting several events and a few adoption promotions.
June is Black and White month at the ICS. During June we will adopt a black and white (or mostly black with white) cat or kitten for $45. A companion cat of any color is only $25. This adoption fee includes spay or neuter, current vaccinations, flea treatment, nail trim and a free initial vet visit with one of our participating vets within 2 weeks of the adoption. Come out and meet these wonderful felines and make one or two part of your family. The Independent Cat Society is located on Route 6 and County Line Road in Westville, IN. For more details call 219-785-4936
As a special adoption promotion, and in partnership with the Best Friends Network, June 14th through June 22nd we are having a extra special adoption promotion, 9 Lives for $9. We will adopt any cat 9 months or older for only $9 each. This promotion will also include the spay or neuter, flea treatment, current vaccinations and free initial vet visit within 2 weeks. We will have some extra adoption hours during this adoption promotion only. Our weekend adoption hours will stay the same, Saturdays 10am - 4pm and Sundays 1pm - 4pm, but we will also be open for adoptions Monday, June 16th through Friday, June 20th, 12pm - 3pm and 4pm - 7pm. So come out and see us and adopt one or two or more of our wonderful cats and kittens available. They so want to be part of your family. For more details call 219-785-4936
On Saturday, June 21st from 10am to 4pm and Sunday, June 22nd from 1pm to 4pm, the Independent Cat Society will be hosting our annual Spring Open House at the ICS Shelter located on Route 6 and County Line Road in Westville, IN. We will have yummy home baked goods and garden plants for sale along with our usual cat toys, catnip, and much more. There will be raffles for great prizes.  Come enjoy the day and meet the wonderful cats and kittens available for adoption. Donations of kitten supplies is most welcome. Items such as kitten milk, kitten food, blankets, warming discs, bottle feeders, etc. For more information 219-785-4936.
Also on Saturday, June 21st the ICS will be hosting our Black and White reception from 4:30pm to 8:30pm, in honor of Prince and Snowball, two 'special' ICS cats, in our beautiful ICS Rainbow Bridge Garden, located at the ICS Shelter grounds on Route 6 and County Line Road in Westville. There will be cake and appetizers served and we will also have door prizes and a Silent Auction. Please bring your own seating and beverages. Come out and enjoy the food, music, and meet some of our wonderful volunteers.  For more information 219-785-4936.
Last but certainly not least, Fr. Andrew Corona will be hosting a memorial service in Independent Cat Society's Rainbow Bridge Garden at the ICS shelter located at Route 6 and County Line Road in Westville, IN on Saturday, June 21st at 6:30 pm.  Everyone is welcome, whether you have recently lost a pet or just want to remember friends from the past. Please come and join us for a time of hope and love in a beautiful garden setting. Then stay for a while and enjoy the evening, tour the garden and share some refreshments.  For more information 219-785-4936.

Taltree Presents Picnic En Blanc June 28

Green Zone

Valparaiso, IN – Taltree Arboretum and Gardens is celebrating summer with an elegant outdoor affair on Saturday, June 28. Guests adorned in white apparel will be treated to an evening of surprises, tours, raffles, dancing and more.

Guests are required to dress from head-to-toe in white and are encouraged to be creative. Guests should bring a white-themed picnic dinner with all the essentials to make an extravagant picnic display. Tables and chairs will be provided. Pre-dinner activities begin at 4 p.m. followed by dinner at 6 p.m.

“Picnic en Blanc is the first of its kind in Northwest Indiana. We’re excited to bring to the region this unique twist on the traditional gala,” said Alexis R. Faust, President and CEO of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens. “The event will be classy, but whimsical. We hope that, for a few hours, people will feel like they’ve been transported to a different time and place.”

Attendees interested in making dinner easy can pre-order dinner. The pre-order dinner option includes choice of sandwich with gourmet side salads, homemade dessert and drink.

Event tickets are $35 per person and pre-order dinner tickets are $55. Table for eight ticket purchase is available for both options, offering a $40 savings. Pre-order dinner tickets should be purchased no later than Thursday, June 19. General event tickets are available until Thursday, June 26. The event is sponsored by Ricci’s Landscape Management, Inc.

Proceeds from the event go to support Taltree’s conservation and education efforts. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit TaltreePicnic.org or call 219-462-0025.

Taltree Arboretum & Gardens is a 360-acre, dog-friendly oak preserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies that offers a variety of cultural events, classes and exhibits. Taltree is open year-round. All proceeds and donations Taltree receives powers its environmental restoration, conservation and education initiatives.

Taltree is located at 450 West 100 North, near Valparaiso, Indiana in Northern Indiana, just south of U.S. 30, approximately 15 minutes east of Interstate 65. For more information, visit Taltree.org or follow Taltree on Twitter at @Taltreearb and Facebook at facebook.com/Taltree.

Vendors, Shelters, Rescues Sought for Homeless Animals Day Event

Animal Corner

3rd Annual Paws for Homeless Animals Day, August 23, 2014

This year this awareness event will be held at the beautiful Hobart Festival Park. We are excited to be hosting such an important day at a park that accomodates both families and pets!

Come enjoy the day walking the paths around the park, take a stroll over the covered bridge and walk along Lake George enjoying the sun. There will be vendors of all types occupying this park, tents offering various types of pet services, and a great selection of food vendors. Additional information will be added as it becomes available and as businesses are secured we will add updates to this event!

Last year we had 55 vendors this year proves to be stacking up already to be even bigger! Don't miss this opportunity to network and come together as one to help homeless animals in your community! We will be looking for rescues, shelters, independent consultants, non- profits, local businesses and food vendors. Space will be limited please email us for booth information. Independents will be working on a non-compete contract and spots will be filled on a first come first serve basis.

For additional information please email Michelle at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call (219)734-6936 and leave a voicemail one of our volunteers will get back to you. [News release]

Fried's Cat Shelter Summer Open House June 21-22

Animal Corner


Fried's Cat Shelter is home to an average of 350 cats. We are located in Michigan City, Indiana. We like to pride ourselves with the fact that we take the best possible care of these kitties that we can. We do not receive any government funding but totally survive on the donations that YOU send to us. We are a NON-PROFIT organizations so all of your donations are tax deductible. We are going to have our Summer Open House this year on June 21st and 22nd from Noon to 4:00. We would love to have you stop by for a visit if you are in the area. We are planning on having refreshments for your pleasure and there will also be a bake sale. We have a small gift shop where you may find just what you are looking for. So please mark your calendar and we will look forward to seeing you then. [Photo/Fried's Cat Shelter]

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