New Trial for Man Accused of Killing Corrections Officer

A new trial date will be set Monday in the case of a man accused in an alleged hit-and-run crash that killed Lake County Corrections Officer Brittney Meux and injured three others after the judge today excused the jury. The judge made the decision after a man apart of the jury pool stated he witnessed the incident take place along West 93rd Avenue in Crown Point in March of last year. 43-year-old Jason Cozmanoff, of Lakes of the Four Seasons, faces charges that include reckless homicide and criminal recklessness. Earlier this month a Lake County judge approved a request from the defense to remove a memorial for Meux [mew] at the Lake County Government Center and Court complex before and during the length of the trial.
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Griffith PD Investigating Armed Robbery at Walgreens

Griffith PD
Police in Griffith are asking for the public's help after an armed robbery Monday evening. Authorities report a white male in his 40's wearing a blue hoodie pulled all the way up around his face, dark glasses, a blue and white striped shirt, and blue jeans, displayed a gun and demanded controlled substances at the Walgreens in the 12-hundred block of East Ridge Road at approximately 7:35pm. Police say the subject departed south on Colfax in an older model white Chevrolet Cavalier, with the license plate covered by a plastic bag.  Anyone with information can contact the Griffith Police Department at (219) 924-3141 or their anonymous tip line at (219) 922-3085.
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Cleaning Up and Restoring Power After Monday's Storm

carsmash Katie Reeves
(Photo Courtesy of Katie Reeves)
NIPSCO field personnel and contracted crews from several Midwest states continue working around the clock to restore power to their customers. Over 25-thousand remain without electricity at last check, according to their outage map, with the highest totals coming out of the Marquette Park area of Gary. Reported storm damage included numerous downed trees and limbs and near 80 mile per hour winds that caused down power lines, blocked roadways, and knocked out traffic signals. ...

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Valpo Cooling Center Locations

The following Cooling Centers are available when the heat index exceeds 100 degrees for consecutive days.
  • Valparaiso University (219) 464-5000
Harre Union, 1509 Chapel Drive., open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Christohper Center Library, 1410 Chapel Dr., open Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

  • Valparaiso YMCA, (219) 462-4185
1202 Cumberland Crossing, open Mon – Fri 5 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

  • Porter County Public Library, Valparaiso Branch (219) 462-0524
103 Jefferson St., open Mon – Thurs 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Vale Park Enrichment Center at Banta (219) 462-1301
605 Beech St., open Mon – Fri 8:30 – 4 p.m.

  • St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church (219) 464-4042
1511 LaPorte Ave., open every day 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

In addition, the Valparaiso Police Department offers a special program for individuals who may need special help during weather emergencies, including times when the heat index exceeds 100 degrees for consecutive days. The Contact Assistance Referral (CARE) Program means the VPD wil check on residents during harsh weather. To register yourself or a loved one for CARE, contact Sergeant Michael Grennes at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (219)462-2135.
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Three Airlifted After US 6 Crash

Three people were airlifted to Illinois hospitals after a crash north of Valparaiso around 9:30 Monday night. Porter County Sheriffs Police say the traffic signal was out due to the storm, and a passenger vehicle going north on Calumet Avenue struck the trailer of a semi going west on US 6. Police found the car pinned under the semi, and the officer had to crawl underneath to determine that there were three occupants in the car, but none could be extricated until a wrecker could lift the trailer off the car so it could be pulled free. Officials say the vehicles came to rest on US 6, about three-hundred feet west of the intersection.  Police say the driver and passengers from the car are from northwest Indiana, but their names are conditions were not available.   Porter County Sheriff David Lain says it appears the storm played a significant role in the incident, but an official cause is still pending.

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Hobart Opens Cooling Center

Due to the high heat and humidity today, along with scattered power outages, the City of Hobart has opened the Community Center at Festival Park at 111 E. Ridge Rd. as a cooling center.

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Settlement Announced in 'Nose Doctor' Claims

A Merrillville law firm has announced a 55-million dollar civil settlement for nearly three-hundred people who were once patients of the so-called 'Nose Doctor'M. Attorneys at Theodoros and Rooth say the settlement approved in Lake Superior Court is for malpractice claims filed against former Merrillville sinus doctor Mark Weinberger. Weinberger pleaded guilty last year to more than twenty counts of health care fraud and was sentenced to seven years in federal prison last October. Officials say Weinberger fled the U-S in 2004, and was found on a mountainside in Italy about five years later.

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Update: 87,000 Lose Power, Lake County Hard Hit

Northern Indiana Public Service Company field personnel and contracted crews from several Midwest states continue working around the clock Tuesday to restore the more than 35-thousand electric customers system-wide who lost power when severe storms moved quickly across northwest and northern Indiana Monday evening (June 24). Since 7 p.m. Monday, NIPSCO field crews have restored more than 52,000 of the total 87,000 customer outages related to the storm. The outages were primarily due to broken utility poles, downed electrical wire and other related storm damage as a result of heavy wind and tree damage. The remaining electric customer outages today are mostly in Lake County, including Gary, Hammond, East Chicago, Munster, Highland, Merrillville and Lake Station. Other communities with significant customer outages include Valparaiso, LaPorte, and Michigan City.

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Cline Avenue Land Transferred for New Toll Bridge

In East Chicago, demolition of the former Cline Avenue Bridge has been completed, and the Indiana Department of Transportation has transferred its right of way holdings to a private company. INDOT and East Chicago Mayor Anthony Copeland signed agreements in 2012 with Cline Avenue Bridge LLC – a team from United Bridge Partners of American Infrastructure MLP Funds, FIGG Bridge Companies and Lane Construction Corporation – to build a new toll bridge entirely with private funds. As part of the transaction, sections of State Road 912 connecting the new bridge will receive approximately $3 million in resurfacing and paving work.
INDOT says the new Cline Avenue Bridge will have all-electronic toll collection when it opens to traffic using two basic payment programs: Transponders that are already used for regional toll systems like the Indiana Toll Road, and for drivers without transponders, a “pay by plate” option where the license plate is recognized and a bill is sent in the mail.
“United Bridge Partners is excited to be a part of the East Chicago community,” said Bob Hellman, Chairman of United Bridge Partners and CEO of American Infrastructure MLP Funds. “We look forward to providing a remarkable new modern bridge that is a solution to traffic congestion and will lead to a growth in jobs and opportunity for people and businesses throughout the region.”
Cline Avenue Bridge LLC is currently performing land surveys, design and traffic studies. Permit application materials are also being prepared and assembled for regulatory agencies. Once permitting is completed, bridge construction is anticipated to last 24 to 30 months.

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Deputy Wounded, K9 Killed in Standoff

Indiana State Police say an Clark County Deputy Police Officer in downstate Sellersburg was wounded and an Indiana State Police K9 was killed during a standoff Monday afternoon. Sellersburg Police had called for assistance in a domestic call after authorities say an officer was confronted by a suspect who pointed a handgun at the officer. The officer took cover and shortly thereafter the suspect fled the area on foot and a foot pursuit ensued. Police say the suspect attempted to gain entry into a couple of residences in the neighborhood then entered one; no one was home at the time.
Trooper Nathan Abbott along with his K-9 partner, Kilo arrived at the scene. Kilo entered the residence first followed by several officers and shortly thereafter there was gunfire. The officers retreated from the residence but Kilo did not exit. At this point a standoff ensued. Officers from several area police agencies responded to the scene and secured the area. Two Indiana State Police SWAT teams along with a Clark County SWAT team also arrived on the scene.
Police say all afternoon negotiators attempted to establish dialog with the suspect who refused to respond to those attempts, and during the standoff a robot with a camera mounted to it was deployed inside the residence. The robot located the suspect inside the home however the suspect allegedly fired several rounds at the robot disabling the camera. The suspect also allegedly fired rounds at officers outside the residence wounding a Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy. The deputy was subsequently evacuated from the scene and flown to University Hospital in Louisville with non life-threatening injuries.
Police say after it was determined attempts to negotiate with the suspect were not going to be effective SWAT teams deployed numerous rounds of teargas inside the residence. At approximately 9:25 p.m. the suspect surrendered to officers ending the nearly 10 hour standoff.
The suspect, later identified as 31 year old Joshua L. Priddy of Sellersburg, was finally taken into custody. He is currently being held in the Clark County Jail on charges of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer (Class A Felony), Causing the Death of a Law Enforcement Animal (Class D Felony), Burglary (Class B Felony), Residential Entry (Class D Felony), Pointing a Firearm (Class D Felony), and Criminal Recklessness with a Firearm (Class C Felony).
The Indiana State Police Alliance says Kilo’s handler was Nathan Abbott and their tour of duty with the ISP started January 5, 2007.  The Alliance say those who wish to make a donation in memory of Kilo can mail them to the address below, and 100% of all donations will be used to support the ISP K-9 program in memory of Kilo. These donations are also tax exempt. If you have any questions please contact Wayne Flick at the Indiana State Police Alliance, 317-636-0929
Please ensure you designate your donation is for the “Kilo Memorial Fund”. Donations may be made to the:
“Kilo Memorial Fund”
CFK/ISPA Foundation
1415 Shelby St.
Indianapolis, IN 46203...

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Region News Team
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