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Flossmoor Teen Facing an Adult Charge of Murder

The death of a 25-year-old Flossmoor man authorities allege was fatally stabbed by his 15-year-old brother early Friday, marks the first homicide in the south-suburban community in more than thirty years, police say. The suspect, Michael Tigue, is facing an adult charge of murder in the death of Steven Tigue, and is scheduled to appear in court again tomorrow. At the bond hearing Saturday, prosecutors said the teen planned an attack on his older brother because he'd been the victim of bullying. ...

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Peoples Bank to Acquire First Federal Savings Loan

Munster-based Peoples Bank has signed an agreement to acquire First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Hammond. First Federal is headquartered on Rimbach Street in downtown Hammond and has a branch on Cline Avenue in Highland. NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, the holding company for Peoples, says Peoples will acquire the assets and liabilities of First Federal in a voluntary merger, pending regulatory approval.
“Peoples Bank is taking a significant step in expanding our community banking franchise and furthering our strategic goals through consolidation,” said David A. Bochnowski, chairman and chief executive officer of Peoples and the Bancorp. “The merging of our two organizations offers opportunities to create operating, investment and managerial synergies while offering First Federal customers a broader menu of traditional and electronic banking products to meet their needs now and in the future,” he added.
John Freyek, president and chief executive officer of First Federal, views the merger as the means to bring together two community banks that share a similar history of local decisionmaking, great customer service and commitment to the communities they serve. “Our goal this past year has been to explore possible relationships that would be meaningful to our customers, employees and the community,” said Freyek. “We’re excited to partner with Peoples and provide our customers access to a full range of deposit, lending and wealth management product and service options while preserving our community banking roots.”...

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Memorial Marker Unveiled for Fallen Trooper

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Scott Patrick Memorial
A memorial marker has been placed at the location where Indiana State Police Trooper Scott Patrick of Wheatfield was killed in the line of duty in Gary ten years ago. Police say Patrick was responding to help a stranded motorist at the Grant Street exit of the Borman Expressway on December 22nd, three days before Christmas 2003, when he was fatally shot. The marker was unveiled on a rainy, wet Saturday night this past weekend in a ceremony that included special guest speakers, Indiana State Police Honor Guard and the Scott Patrick family.
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Gary State Representative Dr. Vernon G. Smith filed a naming resolution which was passed by both chambers of the Indiana legislature and resulted in the declaration dated January 13, 2013. Indiana State Police say these efforts were enhanced with the assistance of Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh and INDOT Deputy Commissioner Robert Alderman.   [Left to right: Lieutenant Jerry Williams (Lowell District Commander), Melissa Patrick (widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (son) and Jamie Patrick (brother)/photos Indiana State Police]
The ceremony included the Indiana State Police Honor Guard, the Lake County Pipes and Drums, Indiana State Police Chaplain Coffee, Senior Trooper Geoff Gruber (who was first on scene and wounded Darryl Jeter who was convicted of Scott’s death), Melissa Patrick (Scott’s widow), Isaac Scott Patrick (nine year-old son of Scott) and Jamie Patrick (Scott’s brother).  Patrick's widow was pregnant when he was fatally shot.  The ceremony also marked the tenth anniversary of Trooper Patrick's death.  In 2006, State Road 10 between Wheatfield and DeMotte in Jasper County was dedicated as the Trooper Scott A. Patrick Memorial Highway in his honor.
Darryl Jeter of Chicago was sentenced to life in prison in 2006 after being found guilty of murder in Trooper Patrick's death....

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Ind License Branches Closed Tuesday and Wednesday

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles says license branches will be closed on Tuesday, December 24th and Wednesday, December 25th in observance of the Christmas holiday. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, December 26th.  In addition, license branches will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in observance of New Year's Day. All license branches will resume normal hours of operation on Thursday, January 2nd....

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Gold Coin Dropped in Porter County Red Kettle

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The first gold coin of the Christmas season for the Porter County Salvation Army has been found in a red kettle at the Strack and Van Til on Calumet Avenue in Valparaiso, during the morning to afternoon shift Saturday December 21. The coin has an image of the knight St. George, and was accompanied by a Christmas card with Santa Claus on front, signed "The Bright Metal Society", and identifying the gift as an 1883 Queen Victoria gold coin. Also inside the card was a special holiday message that read
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"Three Wise Men
Came & one
Brought Gold...
Far Away Land
When Times were
old.
Sought for a
Mother & her
Child, Holiest
King – yet
Infant Mild...
Two Thousand Years
Have come & fled,
Still to the Manger
We are led.
Plowshares were
taken from a sword.
Bright Metal once again serves our Lord..."
Additional information from The Salvation Army of Porter County:
THE SALVATION ARMY OF PORTER COUNTY 2013 Christmas Season Red Kettle Campaign is at $121,805.93 (as of Thursday, 12/19) 81.2% of goal (150,000) in Porter County, which is our major fund-raising event for the Army each year and one of the world’s oldest philanthropic campaigns.  The monies raised over these days (excluding Sundays) will be used to assist those in need in Porter County for Christmas and throughout the 2014 fiscal year.  The traditional red kettle is an integral part of the Christmas scene with our overall Campaign Goal this year at $280, 000 (to date we are at $220,914.25 or 78.9%).  We plan to raise $150,000 through our Red Kettle Drive and $130,000 ( we are at $99,108.32 or 76.2%) through our mail appeal drive to serve needy families, youth & seniors in our Porter County communities throughout the year.  The Red Kettle Campaign is into the final week for Red Kettle Bell Ringing.  Please know that our Mail Appeal Drive continues to accept donations thru to January 30, 2014 for this annual campaign.
      We invite you to be part of this event to help spread the word about raising funds for The Salvation Army of Porter County to assist those in need.  Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who rung the bell; fed people on Thanksgiving Day; collected, sorted, wrapped and distributed gifts at The Salvation Army of Porter County Corps Community Center and local Nursing Homes.   “The Salvation Army has brought spiritual light and love along with food, clothing and gifts to over 433 families, 819 senior citizens and 722 children which were served this Christmas Season so that the real meaning is not forgotten.  We minister to the needy in Jesus name without discrimination.”  
      Other Christmas events held by the Army include the Angel Tree Food, Clothing & Toy Assistance, Collection and Distribution, Adopt-a-Family Assistance, Christmas Nursing Home/Shut-in Senior Gift Distribution, Christmas Food Distribution and Youth & Family Christmas Parties, Christmas and New Year Worship Services along with our daily help with food, rent/mortgage, utility, medicine, employment and transportation assistance.Thank you and may God richly bless Porter County, Indiana....

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Improvements Noted at Lake County Jail

Lake County Sheriff John Buncich says he will ask a federal court to dismiss US Department of Justice monitoring of county jail compliance duties for 27 of 99 deficiencies cited in a December 2010 court order that mandated improvements in jail conditions. The announcement comes after the sixth semi-annual inspection concluded Thursday and required by the court. According to Sheriff Buncich, federal inspectors said 56-percent of all problem areas have achieved either substantial or sustained compliance, up from 42-percent in May. A December 2009 report found inmates rights were being violated, officials say, in regard to medical and mental health care, suicide prevention and sanitary and safe living conditions....

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Gary Homicide Investigated

Police in Gary continue to investigate a homicide discovered during the weekend. The Lake County Coroners office says 55-year-old Richard Lewis of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead shortly after 12:30 Saturday afternoon in the 200 block of Polk Street on the far north side of the city. Police say the man's body was in an alley between the 200 blocks of Polk and Tyler Streets. Gary has seen more than fifty homicides this year. Last year there were 43 homicides recorded in the city....

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219: Whiting Elks Sailor Dinner

The holiday season is one of giving and that is what the Whiting Elks Lodge is doing this Christmas Day. As part of their annual tradition, they will host over 100 recruits from the Naval Station Great Lakes for Christmas dinner. Elks P.E.R. Helen Chapman says volunteers are needed and no amount of time is too small to donate. For more, listen to today's 219 at News Audio On Demand here on our website....

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Good Police Work Nabs 4 Burglary Suspects in MC

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An elderly Michigan City resident in the 200 block of Emma Street told police that after hearing a loud crash, he discovered his backdoor to be badly damaged and kicked in.  Finding that nothing was taken and after speaking with family the 98 year old called police.  Then according to police reports, while taking a report of that incident last Tuesday afternoon officers received another burglary call of an elderly homeowner in the 100 block of Ashland.
The 79 year old victim told police that she was home when her power went off but that she thought it was weather related.  Then she said she herd a noise in her kitchen area and thought it was a family member.  When she went to check, she said she saw two males running out of her house and like with the earlier victim, checked with family before calling police.
Two members of the burglary task force, Cpl. Al Bush and Cpl. Tim Baker were getting ready to investigate the crime scenes when two juveniles arrived at the police station for a scheduled interview with one of the members on an unrelated case, according to reports.  
Reports say Shift ll  officer Cracknell collecting evidence from the scene relayed information to officer Oberle who was working the front desk.  Officer Oberle picked up on certain similarities from the crime scene to the two juveniles waiting to be interviewed.
 
After the juveniles were interviewed on their cases, they were then asked about the burglaries.  Following the interview the two juveniles were arrested for burglary.  Cpl. Bush continued to investigate the case and that led him to more suspects and on December 18th and 19th two more juvenile suspects were arrested in connection with the case.  A total of four suspects ranging in age from 15 to 17 years of age each face 2 counts of B-felony burglary charges.
Michigan City Police Chief Mark Swistek applauds the officers and detectives for really good police and team work.
Suspects are presumed innocenter until proven guilty in a court of law....

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Wake for Local Pearl Harbor Survivor on Sunday

USS West Virginia   
A Pearl Harbor survivor from Hammond passed away on Wednesday at the age of 94. John Latko was a marine aboard the USS West Virginia and gained popularity in a picture (above photo) showing him in a boat pulling another man out of the water with the USS West Virginia burning in the background. Latko was involved with the local chapter of the Pearl Harbor Survivors, as well as the armed forces memorial in Munster. A wake has been scheduled for Sunday, at Burns Kish Funeral Home in Hammond, from 2 to 7pm.
(photo:  Provided by James M. Laud Sr., Indiana State Chairman Sons of Daughters of Pearl Harbor Survivors)...

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