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Pinnacle Entertainment To Acquire Ameristar Casinos

Pinnacle Entertainment announced today they have completed the acquisition of Ameristar Casinos, including the one in East Chicago.  The acquisition is still subject to approval by the Federal Trade Commission.  Pinnacle also owns the Belterra Casino Resort and Spa in southern Indiana.
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Red Cross Rewarding Blood Donors 8/26 Through 9/9

Amer. Red Cross
With the arrival of Labor Day and the unofficial end to summer, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to roll up a sleeve and give blood or platelets to help ensure sufficient supplies over the holiday weekend.
Those who present to donate between Aug. 26 and Sept. 9 could win one of five $1,000 American Express gift cards, and all donors will walk away with the instant gratification that they may be helping to save more than one life.
“The summer may be coming to an end, but the work of the Red Cross is far from over,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO of the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “As you make plans for this Labor Day holiday, please also make time to give blood and help patients who depend on your lifesaving donation.”
While thousands of people answered the call for blood and platelet donations issued by the Red Cross earlier this summer, an urgent need remains for platelets and types O negative, A negative and B negative blood. The summer months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelet donations to keep pace with patient needs.
“Patients in local hospitals often can’t take a break to enjoy the holiday,” Whitman said. “But blood and platelet donors can give these patients a chance to enjoy this time with family and friends – simply by rolling up a sleeve.”
To help spur additional donations over the Labor Day weekend, all presenting blood and platelet donors between Aug. 30 and Sept. 2 will also receive a complimentary Red Cross T-shirt. Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood or platelets. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org/summer for more information and to make an appointment to help save lives.
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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CR 1050N Between 350E and 400E Closed in Porter Co

Traffic-Alert
The Porter County Sheriff's Office is asking motorists to please avoid County Road 1050 North, between 350 East and 400 East, in Jackson Township until further notice.  The Sheriff's office reports that location is currently closed due to police activity.  No further information is available at this time. 

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Authorites in LaPorte Co Make Another Heroin Arrest

Jack Heitz
(Photo Courtesy of the LaPorte Police Department)

The LaPorte County Metro Operations Unit continues to put the smack down on those who possess or sell heroin.  Authorities report their ongoing investigation into the sale of distribution of heroin in the LaPorte area has resulted in the fifth such arrest in the last week.  35 year old Jack Heitz was arrested without incident Tuesday at his home, in the six-hundred block of Roberts Street in LaPorte, on a warrant for felony possession of heroin and a misdemeanor charge of possession of paraphernalia.
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Authorities Seek Help to ID Dyer Burglary Suspect

Suspect1
(Photos Courtesy of the Lake County Sheriff's Office)

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The Lake County Sheriff's Dept. is asking the public's help in identifying suspects involved in an early morning July 4th burglary in unincorporated Dyer, IN.  The suspects involved entered several residences in a neighborhood near the intersection of W 101st Ave and State Line Rd.  We have provided stills from surveillance video of one suspect and two vehicles possibly involved.  The suspect is described as a black male, medium complexion, heavy build, with a goatee.  The vehicles videotaped are believed to be an older model white Chrysler 300M, and a later model silver Dodge Avenger.  The Avenger is believed to have damage to the right front quarter based on surveillance footage.  Also, a white minivan, unknown make and model, has been described by witnesses to be involved.  If anyone has any information that could assist this investigation, please contact Det. Jeremy Kalvaitis at 219-755-3355, or 219-755-3334.

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Motorcyclist Injured in Crash

Porter County Sheriffs Police say a motorcyclist was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries this morning after a crash on US 6 just west of Porter Regional Hospital at US 6 and Tanner Drive. Police say the man may have been airlifted to another facility.  
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Governor to Announce New Auditor

Indiana Governor Pence will announce his selection for Auditor of State at a news conference Thursday. Pence accepted Tim Berry’s resignation as Auditor on Tuesday,and Deputy Auditor Kirke Willing started service as Auditor today on an interim basis. Berry was elected Chair of the State Republican Party on July 22, and assumed those responsibilities on a full-time basis today. He had served as Auditor since 2007.  
“We thank Tim for his service to the people of Indiana,” said Pence. “He put taxpayers first, implemented new financial accounting software and worked closely with local governments in his role as Auditor, and we are grateful for his contributions.”
Pence will announce the next Auditor of State at a press conference in the Governor’s office on Thursday, August 15 at 9:15 a.m. The Governor’s appointee will complete Berry’s term, which runs through 2014. The swearing-in ceremony is planned for Monday, August 19.
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Additional Hole Found at Mt. Baldy

Researchers have found an additional hole at Mount Baldy. Supervisory Park Ranger Bruce Rowe from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore says it was about ten-inches in diameter in the surface of the dune, and maybe five feet deep, and resembled the size and shape of the hole described by family members of a young boy swallowed by sand on the giant dune last month. Rowe also says it had loose sand in the bottom, so it's possible it was deeper and some sand has filled it in somewhat.
To hear our interview with Bruce Rowe, visit News Audio on Demand here at our website.
Rowe also stresses that the hole that led to last month's rescue is NOT a sinkhole.  "While this is new to science and we don't know what to call it yet, we do know that it is not a sinkhole," Rowe said. He says a sinkhole develops when you've got rock underneath the surface that's eroded by water and then gives way. With no rocks under Mount Baldy, " this is some sort of different phenomenon than a sinkhole."
National Park Service officials say the newly-discovered hole, which was east of the one six-year-old Nathan Woessner child fell into, was not created by any human activity and is believed to have formed as a natural phenomenon, but, although similar, they can't say for sure yet whether it's the same kind as the one that opened up last month.  Additional equipment is being brought in today to collect sand samples from the hole. 
The samples could provide the dates of the sand deposition under this area of loose sand.
The National Park Service has developed an investigation team comprised of NPS geologists and hydrologists and university researchers from several disciplines.  The team will collectively make decisions about the progression of the investigation into the phenomenon associated with the conditions on Mt. Baldy.
The EPA conducted limited ground-penetrating radar (GPR) testing at Mt. Baldy on Monday, August 12, 2013 to initiate the park investigation. Park officials say it's hoped the GPR can provide a 3-D model of the dune (inside and out) as well as locate any anomalies within the dune that might require further investigation.
Additional testing and analysis of results will take weeks and the entire Mt. Baldy area will remain closed to the public until further notice. “We realize that many people would like to visit Mt. Baldy and we regret that the area is closed,” said park superintendent Constantine Dillon, “but the fact that we do not know what caused the original hole, and that a new hole has spontaneously appeared, reinforces our concern that Mt. Baldy is not safe for visitors at this time.”
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Multiple Crashes in Region

Traffic-Alert
Police are responding to multiple accidents in Northwest Indiana this morning.
Shortly before 7:30am, authorities responded to an accident with injuries reportedly involving a motorcycle and car on US 6 just west of Porter Regional Hospital,  The crash is at US 6 and Tanner Drive and was blocking traffic in both directions.
Just before 8:30 this morning, on westbound US 30 in the Merrillville/Hobart area, we were told the left lane was blocked at Randolph with an accident.
On the Indiana Toll Road, an overturned semi was blocking the Exit 49/La Porte ramp. 
On the Borman Expressway, multiple vehicles collided near Burr Street and Cline Avenue earlier this morning. Those vehicles have since been cleared.
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New Security Measures for Portage Schools

When classes begin for students at Portage Township schools one week from today (next Wednesday August 21st),   some new security measures will be in place.  The district spent about 180-thousand dollars over the summer to reconfigure entrances so visitors go directly to an office. Guests still have to be “buzzed” in, but before the changes, some of the entryways allowed you to get into a building without seeing anyone from the school first.
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