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Indianapolis a Finalist for Super Bowl LII

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The chances Indianapolis could host another Super Bowl just got even better. The National Football League today announced Indianapolis is one of their top three finalists for Super Bowl LII (52) in 2018. Indiana Governor Mike Pence issued a statement saying, “Indiana far surpassed expectations in 2012, and we look forward to submitting another promising bid to showcase once again Hoosier hospitality and all that Indiana has to offer.” The other two locations selected as finalists are Minneapolis and New Orleans....

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Porter Regional Hospital Assessment Completed

Porter Regional Hospital
An appraisal of Porter Regional Hospital has finally been completed, the first since the hospital opened in August 2012. The hospital land was assessed at one-point-seven million dollars, down from four-point-seven-eight and the building assessment came in at 242-point-eight million, up from 29-point four million, for a total assessment of 244-point-five million dollars. Porter Regional Hospital agreed to turn over documents in July that were said to be necessary to complete the property tax assessment of the hospital campus at US 6 and State Road 49 in Liberty Township. Officials with the hospital have 45 days from Monday to file an appeal. ...

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Indiana and 15 School Corporations Sue IRS

Indiana OAG Official Seal
The State of Indiana and 15 school corporations filed a lawsuit today against the IRS, challenging a new IRS regulation that imposes the employer mandate requirements of the Affordable Care Act onto state and local governments. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller contends the Affordable Care Act as passed by Congress does not allow financial penalties in states that did not create their own health insurance exchanges and that the financial penalties, which are based on the total number of employees, cannot be applied to government employees.
Joining the State as co-plaintiffs are 15 Indiana school corporations:
• Metropolitan School District of Martinsville, Martinsville, Ind.
• Perry Central Community Schools, Leopold, Ind.
• Benton Community School Corporation, Fowler, Ind.
• Community School Corporation of Eastern Hancock County, Charlottesville, Ind.
• John Glenn School Corporation, Walkerton, Ind.
• Monroe-Gregg School District, Monrovia, Ind.
• Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation, Mooresville, Ind.
• North Lawrence Community Schools, Bedford, Ind.
• Northwestern Consolidated School District of Shelby County, Fairland, Ind.
• Shelbyville Central Schools, Shelbyville, Ind.
• Southwest Parke Community School Corporation, Montezuma, Ind.
• Vincennes Community School Corporation, Vincennes, Ind.
• Madison Consolidated Schools, Madison, Ind.
• South Henry School Corporation, Straughn, Ind.
• Southwestern Jefferson County Consolidated School Corporation, Hanover, Ind.
As political subdivisions of the State, school corporations are faced with reducing the hours of their part-time employees in order to avoid the financial penalties of the IRS regulation under the employer mandate....

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WWII Veteran Pleads Guilty to Drug Running

A World War II veteran from Michigan City pleaded guilty today to a 2011 traffic stop near Detroit, Michigan, where authorities found two-hundred pounds of cocaine in his vehicle. 89 year old Leo Sharp could face the prosecutor's recommended sentence of five years in prison....

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Nobel Prize Contributing Prof Honored at Purdue-Calumet

dr parashar
(Photos Courtesy of Karl Berner)
dr parashar with students
Theorists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert began working on the Higgs Theory in the 1960s, and after more than half a century of tireless research, experimentation, and technological advancements, The Nobel Prize for physics was bestowed upon them this morning for discovery of the Higgs boson, or “God Particle”, a scientific energy component that gives mass to all physical matter.
A press conference was held at Purdue-Calumet today to congratulate one of the many researchers who have also researched the theory in order to discover its existence. Purdue-Calumet professor, Dr. Neeti Parashar says this discovery is the crowning achievement of the century.
Dr. Parashar says this discovery for humans' understanding of the basic building blocks of life, energy and the natural universe is monumental—and fundamental—because if the Higgs didn't exist, we would not exist.
Dr. Parashar and her team of researchers were also congratulated via Skype by Purdue-Calumet Chancellor, Thomas Keon, and they look forward to contining research on the Higgs Field and hope to discover different types of “God Particles” that energetically shape the world around us.
dr parashar and keon ...

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Lake County Treasurer Reports Bills Due 11/12

The Office of the Lake County Treasurer announced today that bills are due November 12th. The Treasurer's office says bills can be paid at their main office at the Lake County Government Complex in Crown Point, or at their Gary or Hammond satellite offices. Taxpayers with no questions or problems with their bills can visit any number of bank branches, or you can pay online, but a credit card fee is charged, so if you are paying online, it is suggested you use the cheaper e-check system, http://in-lake-treasurer2.governmax.com/collectmax/collect30.asp
The Lake County Treasurer's office also reports that office staff will be swamped with calls, so be patient and expect to be on hold for an extended period of time.
The following banks and all of their branches will be accpeting payments: 5th/3rd Bank, American Savings FSB, Centier, Chase, Citizens Financial Bank, Demotte State Bank, First Federal Savings and Loan, First Midwest, First National Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Horizon, Lake Federal Bank, Main Source Bank, Peoples and Tech Federal Credit Union....

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Open House Dates Set for Illiana Expressway

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Four open house dates have been scheduled in November by the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission regarding the Illiana Expressway. Recently we spoke with NIRPC's Mitch Barloga who says the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Board is expected to vote this week on the matter, after its transportation committee voted last week in favor including the Illiana Expressway in its transportation plan. He says NIRPC's full board will take a vote on amending its regional plan to include the expressway on December 12th.
The first open house is scheduled for November 2nd, in Gary, from 10am to 12pm, at Indiana University Northwest. For a list of open house dates, times and locations, including information regarding public comment, visit http://www.nirpc.org/illiana-expressway-project.aspx...

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Sign Up Kids for Gary FD Fire Safety First Sessions

Gary FD
The Gary Fire Department is recognizing Fire Prevention Week with “Fire Safety First” sessions for children ages 6 through 12, October 9th through the 11th. Sessions must be scheduled by an appointment and children are being asked to dress appropriately so they can participate in the activities. Each session lasts approximately an hour and a half, can accommodate up to 35 youth, and will be held at the Hudson and Campbell Fitness Center, in the four-hundred block of Massachusetts Street. Highlights include fire fighter demonstrations, a fire safety simulation maze, and more.  To schedule an appointment, call Lt. Sandra McGuire at (219) 881-5252....

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Food Stamp Benefits to Decrease November 1

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Hunger relief advocates say more than 925-thousand food stamp recipients in Indiana will see a drop in benefits in a few weeks. A statewide group representing eleven regional food banks says extra benefits that have been provided through the 2009 federal stimulus measure expire November first, a change that has nothing to do with the current federal shutdown. Feeding Indiana's Hungry Executive Director Emily Weikert Bryant says the maximum benefit for a family of four will fall by 36-dollars. She is encouraging Hoosiers to donate food, funds or time to food banks and local pantries.
Here is additional information from Feeding Indiana's Hungry:
Indianapolis, IN, October 7, 2013 – Hunger relief advocates are spreading the word that the increased benefits to recipients in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will expire on November 1, 2013.  
 
SNAP recipients will initially see benefits increase slightly for most households on October 1 to reflect the annual cost of living adjustment.  But on November 1, recepients will see their benefits decrease due to the end of the extra benefits provided by the 2009 law.
These changes are not a result of the current federal government shutdown.  
 
Indiana’s Family & Social Services Agency (FSSA) will communicate benefit changes directly with SNAP recipients prior to the November decrease.  But hunger relief advocates want to ensure that SNAP clients are informed and prepared well ahead of these changes.  
 
“Beginning November 1, the more than 925,000 Hoosiers receiving SNAP will see a decrease in the monthly benefits that for a family of four will be up to $36 per month,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “$36 means several days’ worth of food for a struggling family.  Clients already have a difficult time putting enough food on their tables and paying their bills even with SNAP benefits.  We hope that by spreading the word early, clients can prepare themselves as best as possible and local food pantries can proactively gear up for increased client traffic.”
 
The eleven regional member food banks of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry distributed 73.7 million pounds of food in 2012 with the help of food and fund donations from retailers, manufacturers, private and foundation donors, and commodity food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  But the state impact of SNAP ARRA cuts will be a loss of $98 million worth of food over the next year. 
 
“We hope that Hoosiers statewide will also come to the aid of our friends, neighbors, and family that will be impacted by the loss of food assistance in November by donating food, funds, or time to regional food banks or local pantries to ensure that more food is available to those in need,” said Bryant. 
 
The new SNAP maximum monthly benefit levels will change with the October cost of living adjustments and November cuts.
Hoosiers wishing to find out their SNAP balance can call 877-768-5098, look at their last grocery receipt, or check the balance online  https://www.ebtaccount.jpmorgan.com/ 
 
It is also important to ensure that Hoosier SNAP clients are claiming all of the deductions for which they qualify to receive the benefits for which they are eligible.  This includes accounting for medical expenses for seniors 60 years or older and dependent care expenses for children under 18 or other dependents. 
 
If you need food right away, contact your regional food bank, which can be located through FeedingAmerica.org or Feedingindianashungry.org, or call 211 anywhere in Indiana at any time to be connected to a trained human service professional and ask for the nearest food pantry or food distribution site.
 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides several resources to help people eat healthy meals on a low budget including:
 
·       10-Tips Nutrition Series ( http://www.choosemyplate.gov/healthy-eating-tips/ten-tips.html)
 
·       ChooseMyPlate.gov ( http://www.choosemyplate.gov/)
 
·       Plan, Compare and Prepare ( http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/03/28/healthy-eating-on-a-budget/)
 
·       Eat Right When Money’s Tight. ( http://snap.nal.usda.gov/resource-library/eat-right-when-moneys-tight )
 
The USDA Recipe Box ( http://www.fns.usda.gov/fncs-recipe-box) helps people find healthy low cost recipes and create cookbooks and shopping lists. ...

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Gator Cases Bringing New Jobs to N Indiana

GATOR LOGO black and red on white
A Tampa-based company that makes cases, bags and stands for the music and audiovisual markets is relocating its Chattanooga distribution center to northern Indiana, creating up to 106 new jobs by 2016. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation says Gator Cases will invest over four-point-four-million dollars to lease, renovate and equip a 168-thousand square-foot facility in Columbia City that's expected to be complete by this January and house its rotational molding factory.
"Gator Cases' decision to grow in Indiana is the latest proof of the confidence that growing companies have in our prosperous business climate," said Governor Mike Pence. "Thanks to Indiana's robust infrastructure, low-tax economy and quick and predictable regulatory environment, we are continually winning opportunities to bring more jobs to hardworking Hoosiers."
Gator Cases, which employs 28 full-time associates in Indiana and 64 across the country, plans to begin hiring manufacturing, operation and distribution positions this December. Interested candidates can apply by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
"We are very excited to continue our expansion in Indiana," said Crystal Morris, president of Gator Cases. "The business friendly climate, central location and excellent workforce were the leading factors in our decision to choose the Columbia City location. We are looking forward to continuing our growth of USA manufacturing along with streamlining our distribution to insure best in class performance for our customers."
Founded in 2000 in Tampa, Fla. by father-daughter team Jerry Freed and Crystal Morris, Gator Cases manufactures hard case and bag solutions for pro audio, information technology, audio visual, general utility, band instrument and percussion instruments. Offering more than 1,000 different solutions made from vacuum-formed plastics, rotational-molded plastics, wood, sewn and ethylene-vinyl acetate materials, the company sells through more than 3,000 dealers with products offered in more than 90 countries. The company also specializes in creating OEM custom case solution for manufacturers around the world.
The Indiana Economic Development Corporation offered Gator Cases, Inc. up to $550,000 in conditional tax credits based on the company's job creation plans. These tax credits are performance-based, meaning until Hoosiers are hired, the company is not eligible to claim incentives. Whitley County approved additional tax abatement at the request of Whitley County Economic Development Corporation. 
"We understand that Gator Cases considered a number of options for what represents an impressive milestone in the company's development," said Whitley County Commissioner George Schrumpf. "With that in mind, we commend the owners' decision to grow the business in Northeast Indiana and we are pleased to welcome Gator Cases to Whitley County."...

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