Gary Metro Center Elevator/Escalator Out of Service

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The Gary Metro Center platform elevator and escalator are out of service pending a complete inspection and repairs.  Until further notice Gary Metro Center is no longer accessible to passengers with disabilities who require either the elevator or escalator to access the train platform.  The two closest accessible stations to Gary Metro Center would be East Chicago and Portage/Ogden Dunes.  NICTD regrets any inconvenience and is working to restore the elevator and escalator as quickly as possible....

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Warning: New Phone Scam Circulating

porter co sheriff dept
Police in the Region report a new phone scam is spreading. Porter County Sheriffs Police Sgt. Larry LaFlower says scammers will call you stating your relative has been in a crash, and by doing so, extract a relatives name from you. Once they have a name the scammers become aggressive telling you the relative hit a high-ranking gang member, and as a result, said relative is being held for ransom with the threat of physical violence until you need to send them money.
Police say do not give out any personal information, disconnect the call and contact your family member to confirm their condition....

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Two Highland Burglary Suspects in Custody

Highland Police
In Highland, two men are in custody after a burglary this morning in the Terrace Estates Subdivision. Just before 11:30am, Highland Police reported they were searching for a heavy set black male wearing a white t-shirt and within an hour two suspects allegedly involved in the burglary were apprehended. Police say they have taken several reports of daytime burglaries the past few days, particularly on the north side of town. Residents are reminded to secure your houses and garages and to report any suspicious persons, vehicles or activity to police. ...

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Rash of Daytime Burglaries Reported in Highland

Highland Police
Highland Police say residents of Highland and neighboring communities have been experiencing a rash of daytime burglaries – something that generally increases every year during the holiday season. Highland Police say their staffing levels have been adjusted to meet the concern – and they remind people home during the day to remain watchful for themselves and their neighbors, and to report any suspicious activity immediately by calling 911. ...

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Lake County Legislators Preview Session

The Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce got a little preview of what the upcoming legislative session may bring, from three local legislators who took part in an informal presentation at the Lake County Public Library in Merrillville Tuesday night. [Pictured: Representative Slager, Representative VanDenburgh, Senator Randolph/Photo, Laura Waluszko]
Democrat Crown Point State Representative Shelli VanDenburgh, Republican State Representative Hal Slager of Schererville, and Democrat East Chicago State Senator Lonnie Randolph also answered questions from attendees on topics like South Shore expansion, Illiana Expressway, Common Core, and providing more benefits for police K-9s. And, it's anticipated that a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage will be a big topic. Representative VanDenburgh, who voted against it the first time, told the Region News Team she's resolved to oppose it even more strongly.  To hear her comments visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Indiana state law currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. A proposed marriage amendment was approved in 2011 and if lawmakers say yes again this session, the question will go before Hoosier voters on the November 2014 general election ballot. ...

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219: Valpo Holly Days

If you are looking for some holiday fun this weekend be sure to check out Holly Days in downtown Valparaiso Friday. The event is free and will feature train rides, ice sculptures, food samples, Santa and a whole lot more from 5-7pm at Central Park Plaza. Find out more by listening to today's 219 On Demand here on our website....

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Purdue North Central Receives Historic Donation

PNCNew Building image
Purdue University North Central in Westville recently received a historic donation to its Student Services and Activities Complex fundraising effort from Dr. Peter Kesling and his wife, Charlene.  The Kesling's $1 million donation is the largest cash donation that PNC has ever received.  [Image provided/PNC]
"We are thrilled that the Keslings have chosen to support PNC with this significant gift," said PNC Chancellor Dr. James B. Dworkin. "This gift is a turning point for Purdue North Central. The Kesling name will be a permanent part of the building and will serve as a daily reminder to our students, staff, faculty and guests of the Keslings' support and their commitment to PNC and our community."
[A photo of the 1918-19 Logansport basketball team. H.D. Kesling is third from the left seated in the second row. [Photo provided]]
With this gift, the Keslings have the naming rights to the SSAC gymnasium. The "H.D. Kesling Gymnasium" will be named in honor of Dr. Kesling's father.   "We are excited to be supporting the new Purdue North Central Student Services and Activities Complex and naming the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium in honor of my father," said Dr. Kesling.
"He, among other things, had the foresight in 1959 to develop the Orthodontic center in a cornfield at the interchange of the Indiana Toll Road and U.S. 421. PNC has been our good neighbor across U.S. 421 since 1967. It has been a great pleasure watching it grow during the past 46 years."
The Players 2
[A page from the 1919 Logansport High School (LHS) yearbook "The Tattler" features biographies of the team.  In those days, H.D. "Harold" was called "Bill" by family and friends. Note that his name is misspelled with two "S's." Sent courtesy of Thelma Conrad, Curator of the Cass County Historical Society. [Courtesy PNC]]
Dr. Kesling explained that his father was an outstanding high school basketball player in Logansport and he was a member of a team that made it to the 1918 - 19 state quarterfinals.  "When recounting those days, he always added the fact that he was not a good student and the only reason he buckled down and raised his grades was so that he could be eligible to play," he recalled.
"Therefore, if it wasn't for basketball, he might have stayed down on the farm and never had the opportunity to attend college. However, he continued his excellent study habits, graduated from Loyola Dental School and in 1924 began practicing dentistry in LaPorte. This is why all of the Kesling family will be proud to have his name associated with the new gymnasium. His story may also serve to inspire future students during their academic years."
"The Keslings are committed to making our community a better place to live," said Dworkin. "Their generosity has benefitted countless thousands of people through the years. In making this donation, we are assured that PNC students for generations to come will have the benefit of enjoying the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium."
University officials say as planned, the Student Services and Activities Complex will cost $34.7 million. The state will provide $24.7 million, or approximately 70 percent of the debt service. Student activities fees will generate $6.3 million and cover another 20 percent of the project. PNC fund raising will bring in the remaining $3.7 million
Dworkin noted that the local fundraising effort has achieved more than 80 percent of its goal and donations of all amounts are welcomed. Many building naming rights remain available as well.  Groundbreaking is expected to take place in October, 2014 and the tentative completion date is October, 2016.
Anyone who would like to make a donation may contact Dworkin at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Melissa Westphal-Benefiel, PNC Director of Development, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ...

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Hearing on Redistricting Postponed

The Porter County Board of Commissioners postponed a planned hearing Tuesday on a redistricting plan for four county council districts. Commission President John Evans said the proposal needed additional tweaking and rescheduled it for December 17th. In October, county officials got word of research by students at DePauw University in 2011 and 2012 claiming population between districts is not as equal as it should be as per state law. However, the accuracy of data used in the study has been called into question. Other concerns have been raised about the fairness of redistricting so late in this year, with filing opening up in January for the 2014 elections. Officials say redistricting has to take place during an odd-numbered year. The county began looking into redistricting in late 2011, but did not take action....

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Cedar Lake Trying to Help Blind Woman Keep Home

In Cedar Lake, town council members Tuesday night took action in the latest of attempts within the community to help a blind woman keep her longtime home. The council directed the town attorney to look into trying to buy the property where 67-year-old Dolores Pittman has lived for over a half-century, then allowing her to stay there through possibly a life estate agreement. Published reports say through a series of events that began years ago, the small plot of land ended up on a county tax sale list, unbeknownst to Pittman, and sold out from under her for 43-dollars. Pittman's family bought the house decades ago, and was paying rent on the land, and when a church group that used to own the land divested itself of the property, property tax bills for the parcel began mounting up. Donations have come in to help the woman move, in advance of her anticipated eviction....

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Two Region Mayors Take Stand Against Amendment

Two Region mayors are among a dozen from both sides of the aisle across the state who officially announced their opposition Tuesday to a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Indiana. Democrat Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. and Republican Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas both said they want people to be welcome in their cities.
Mayor McDermott says his city has passed a resolution stating their "inclusiveness of all people, regardless of sexual orientation." McDermott called the amendment "backwards thinking, on the wrong side of history and not part of what I know as Hoosier hospitality."
Mayor Costas says the amendment is unnecessary as Indiana law already defines a marriage as between a woman and a man. He says as a conservative, he feels government should be limited, and not unduly intrude into social issues that are best left to individuals, families, and faith communities. He also says it would hinder opportunities for economic growth.
The group of mayors have launched Mayors for Freedom - a coalition dedicated to defeating the proposal.
Here is their news release with statements from each of the mayors:
Indiana Mayors Stand with Freedom Indiana, Speak Out against HJR-6
December 3, 2013
INDIANAPOLIS – Today, Mayors from across the state of Indiana stood with Freedom Indiana and spoke out against HJR-6, the proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would permanently define marriage and would remove existing protections under law for same-sex and unmarried couples and families.
The bipartisan group of Indiana mayors oppose the amendment for a variety of reasons but they all agree the language should not be added to the state’s constitution.
“We’re proud to stand with these mayors from across our state as champions of freedom for all Hoosiers,” said Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson. “They represent cities large and small, and they understand that this amendment will make it harder for them to build their local economies, recruit new residents and maintain existing protections for same-sex and unmarried couples.”
More information:
Statements from Individual Mayors Opposing HJR-6
Mayor Greg Ballard – Indianapolis
“I understand that many people hold differing views on this subject, but Indiana law already defines marriage and I don’t see the overriding government interest in adding such an amendment to our state’s constitution. Indy is renowned for its ‘Hoosier hospitality’ and working hard to attract new jobs and people to our city. My hope is that we can continue to work together and focus on those things that make Indy a place where people want to live, work and raise a family.”
Mayor Jim Brainard – Carmel
“I am a Republican and believe in limited government. Government is not the institution that should decide who is allowed to marry. Moreover, Indiana law already covers this issue and therefore, it is not necessary to add it to the Indiana Constitution. Our government needs to be focused on attracting and retaining good jobs and improving public education for future generations.”
Mayor Tom Henry – Fort Wayne
“Each day in Fort Wayne we’re working hard to attract and retain businesses, jobs, and families. Our City is committed to being a welcoming place for families and individuals seeking great opportunities, friendly neighborhoods and a strong sense of community. We’re asking the Indiana General Assembly to focus its attention on issues that help cities across our state be more competitive in economic development and position us for future growth and success with a quality of life that is unmatched.”
Mayor Pete Buttigieg – South Bend
“Indiana’s constitution exists in order to protect rights and freedoms, not take them away. Our state must be welcoming and respectful of all individuals, or we will be left behind. Changing the constitution in order to deny certain protections to some Hoosier families would send the exact wrong message as we work to grow and develop a competitive economy in cities like South Bend.”
Mayor Jon Costas – Valparaiso
“I am opposed to amending our state constitution to prohibit gay marriage for a number of reasons.  First, Indiana law already defines a marriage as only between a woman and a man.  Thus, the amendment is unnecessary.  Second, as a conservative, I feel that government should be limited, and not unduly intrude into social issues that are best left to individuals, families, and faith communities.   And finally, as a mayor who wants to foster a welcoming, diverse and collaborative community, I believe the amendment would portray Indiana in a negative light and hinder opportunities for economic growth.”
Mayor Thomas McDermott – Hammond
“In Hammond we wanted to make sure that all people feel welcome and so we passed a resolution through the city council that I signed as mayor stating our inclusiveness of all people, regardless of sexual orientation. The path that the legislators who support this amendment are taking only makes certain groups feel unwelcome in our state. It’s backwards thinking, on the wrong side of history and not part of what I know as Hoosier hospitality. I will do anything I can to help defeat this amendment that I consider in contravention of what Indiana should be doing on this important civil rights issue.”
Mayor Mark Kruzan – Bloomington
“Bloomington benefits economically because it’s a welcoming community in which people want to live, visit, and grow a business.  HJR-6, in addition to being an unnecessary infringement of basic rights, threatens the business-friendly reputation of Indiana cities.”
Mayor Kevin Smith – Anderson
“In Anderson, our focus is to create an environment attractive to business – one where those businesses can grow. We actively work to recruit businesses to our city not just locally or nationally but globally.  HJR-6 harms those efforts. It is important that Indiana remain a welcoming community focused on those things that can grow our economy.”
Mayor John Dennis –  West Lafayette
“The City of West Lafayette prides itself on being a diverse, tolerant and welcoming community. For years we have been a state-wide leader in celebrating our diversity and ensuring that all our citizens are treated with respect. Because of this guiding philosophy, West Lafayette and the Greater Lafayette community has celebrated having over a billion dollars of new investment for 2013. HJR-6 sends the wrong message for our City, for our community and  for our state.”
Mayor Greg Goodnight – Kokomo
“HJR-6 is bad for Kokomo and for our state. This amendment sends the wrong message at a time when we are competing for new residents and businesses.   The legislature should be focusing on how we reduce the number of vacant foreclosed homes in our cities, and on how we get Hoosiers back to work instead of this unnecessary amendment.”
Mayor Richard Hickman – Angola
“Equality means equality for all. Equal rights means equal rights for all. To take these rights away from one group of people means we can take them away or deny them to anyone we don’t understand or agree with.”
Freedom Indiana is a bipartisan statewide organization that champions liberty for all Hoosiers. The organization is opposed to an amendment that would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to define marriage and could potentially affect hundreds of rights related to marriage under current Indiana law. Freedom Indiana launched in August 2013....

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