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Indiana Reports First 2013 West Nile Death

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State health officials today announced the state’s first death in Indiana this year from West Nile virus. The Indiana Department of Health said privacy laws prevent them from saying what county the death occurred in. Twenty human cases have been reported in Indiana this year, three in Porter County, and one in Lake. In 2012, 77 human cases and eight deaths occurred in Indiana.
“Although we’re past the normal peak season for West Nile virus, which was in August and September,” said Jennifer House, DVM, Director of Zoonotic and Environmental Epidemiology at the Indiana State Department of Health, “there’s still a risk of becoming infected on warmer days when mosquitoes are biting, so Hoosiers should continue to take precautions.”
The state health department says West Nile virus usually causes West Nile fever, a milder form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.
Link to Indiana State Department of Health map: http://gis.in.gov/apps/ISDH/Arbo/
State health officials say the following steps will help protect from West Nile virus:
·         Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
·         Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home;
·         Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; and,
·         When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus are advised to see their health care provider. 
Additional information from the Indiana State Department of Health:
There is no vaccine and no cure for West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis or Eastern equine encephalitis for humans. 
No mosquito samples have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis or Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis in 2013.
For historical data on West Nile virus activity in Indiana, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at  http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/statsMaps/finalMapsData/index.html.
For more information about mosquito safety, visit the Indiana State Department of Health atwww.StateHealth.IN.gov . Follow us on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1
 
[Image/Indiana State Department of Health]...

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Callouts for Community Cleanups in Gary, EC


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In Gary,  the 5x5x5 Project is moving on to the Glen Park area for the final Gary community clean-up before winter.  City officials say the cleanup has been moved from this Saturday, October 19 to November. Organizations or individuals interested in helping should call the Gary Mayor’s Office for information.
In East Chicago, there's a callout for volunteers for a community wide effort to revitalize the city. This Tuesday, October 22nd, residents will be picking up, cleaning up and painting in an area of Main and Broadway to 139th Street, as the beginning of The Harbor Project ultimately meant to extend throughout the city. Participants are asked to meet at the corner of Main and Broadway at 10:00 a.m.. The event will begin with announcements from  Mayor Anthony Copeland.  Refreshments will be provided.

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INDOT Announces Job Fair in Rensselaer

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The Indiana Department of Transportation has announced a job fair for seasonal Winter program workers at a job fair next week. Potential employees are advised to attend the event scheduled for Thursday, October 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (CST), at the INDOT Rensselaer Subdistrict (1130 E. Maple, Rensselaer, IN). INDOT says successful hires will work as seasonal INDOT maintenance crew staff, and as plow drivers during snow events this winter. Positions are available based out of Rensselaer, Winamac, and Monticello.
Applicants Must Have
• Valid CDL
• High School Diploma or equivalent
• Ability to pass a drug test successfully
INDOT says priority at the job fair will be given to those who apply online in advance at  http://www.in.gov/spd/2334.htm under the Job Bank ID #586315....

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Weekend Closures on Cline Avenue Ramps

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Starting this evening in Hammond (Fri Oct 18), the Indiana Department of Transportation says both the south and northbound Cline Avenue ramps to westbound I-80/94 will be closed through this Monday morning (Oct 21) for repaving. INDOT says it's part of a larger project involving the Borman Expressway between Cline Avenue and the Illinois state line. Drivers wishing to travel from Cline Avenue to westbound I-80/94 will be detoured east on 80/94 to the northbound Broadway (SR 53) exit, then back on I-80/94 westbound.
INDOT reminds drivers to use caution and consider worker safety when driving through a construction zone. For road closure info and news from INDOT, you're invited to like them at www.Facebook.com/INDOTNorthwest and follow us at www.Twitter.com/INDOTNorthwest.
You can find traffic restriction information at www.trafficwise.IN.gov . The LaPorte District toll free number is 1-855-GO-INDOT....

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Traffic Advisories for Munster, Porter County

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Police are issuing traffic advisories for a couple of race events happening in the Region this weekend. In Munster, police say Calumet Avenue will be closed between Superior and Treadway for about a half-hour starting at 8am Saturday October 19th for the inaugural Monster Dash 5k Walk/Run. White Oak, Indianapolis Boulevard, and in Lansing, Wentworth Avenue, are suggested alternates.

On Sunday October 20, Porter County Sheriffs Police say part of US 12 will be closed near the Dunes South Shore station for the Hero Half Marathon and 10K, benefiting Lighthouse Foundation, PATH, Team Red, White and Blue, and NICK-Northwest Indiana Cancer Kids. Public Information Officer Sgt. Larry LaFlower says the event begins at Indiana Dunes State Park, coming out onto US 12, near State Road 49, and heading toward Beverly Shores, getting onto the Calumet Trail.  Sgt. LaFlower says anticipate delays in the area as US 12 will be shut down from Waverly Road to Kemil Road from at least 7:50 am until about 9 am.  That stretch represents the first four miles of the race.

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Sheraton Demolition Could Begin in November

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The city of Gary is moving closer to saying goodbye to the old Sheraton Hotel on Broadway. Gary's Redevelopment Commission this week took seven bids under advisement from contractors seeking to tear down the long-vacant building in the heart of downtown next to City Hall. The 135-room hotel closed in the mid-80s. In September, demolition contractors from around the country Tuesday toured the empty insides of the 14-story building. The city hopes teardown can begin in November and be complete by the end of the year, with plans to put a park in its place. [Photo/City of Gary]...

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Family Found Dead in Merrillville Had Just Moved In

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Media assembled outside a Merrillville home Thursday where a family of four was found dead Wednesday evening

Police in Merrillville say a family of four believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning had just moved into the home on West 70th Avenue this past Saturday, and may have died that night. Their bodies were found Wednesday evening when police went to conduct a wellness check after family members had not heard from them for days. Officers say power to the rental house had not yet been turned on, and a gas generator, said to have been purchased that day, was located in the attached garage with power cords connected to various electronics in the home. Merrillville Police Detective Commander Jeff Rice  says all exterior doors and windows were closed. The official cause of death has not yet been released.  The Lake County Coroners office says 41-year-old Micheal Nichols, 38-year-old Kennetha Purnell, 13-year-old Matthew Nichols and 11-year-old Morgan Nichols were pronounced dead shortly after 7-o'clock Wednesday night.... [Photo/Karl Berner, Radio One Communications]

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Interview: Amanda Morrone Talks ASPCA's Mega-Match-A-Thon

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Are you looking for that perfect match for your family? Why not consider adopting a new four-legged friend at the ASPCA's Mega-Match-A-Thon this weekend? Amanda Morrone, Event Coordinator with Humane Society Calumet Area, Inc. spoke with Annie Fox on their event this weekend. Check out Annie's full interview at Region News On Demand or stop by Paws Resale Shoppe (8149 Kennedy Ave in Highland) Friday through Sunday between 10am-6pm for more information on finding your next family member.

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CMAP Policy Committee Votes in Favor of Illiana

Chicago planners took another vote today on the Illiana Expressway. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's policy committee voted in favor of including the proposed 47-mile tollway, linking I-65 in south Lake County to I-55 in Illinois, in their long-term Go To 2040 development plan for Chicagoland, an important step in getting federal funding for the estimated one-point-three—billion-dollar project. C-MAP board members voted ten-to-four against it last week.
The Active Transportation Alliance, a non-profit transportation advocacy group, is opposed to it. Supporters of the project say the highway would reduce congestion on other highways in the area.
In Northwest Indiana, Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission has has votes scheduled in December on whether or not to include the project in its 2040 plan. ...

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Free Heart Screenings for Student Athletes in LaPorte

IU LaPorte Hospital
October is National Sudden Cardiac Arrest Awareness Month and in light of the recent death of 17 year old Jake West, a LaPorte High School football player who collapsed during practice and died from a genetic heart defect, IU LaPorte Hospital is offering free heart screenings to student athletes at no cost. Registration is required for the screenings, which are being offered on a limited basis, from 4pm to 8pm on Tuesday, October 22nd and again on Thursday, October 24th, and from 8am to 12pm on November 2nd. ...

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