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Indiana Flu Deaths Increase to 70

Two flu-related deaths have been reported this week by the Indiana State Department of Health, bringing the current total of flu-related deaths this season in the state to seventy. Five deaths occurred in individuals younger than 18 years of age. Five deaths occurred in Lake County, though no other information was released. The department does not report the number of deaths in a county until that number reaches five. Sixty-four of the cases involved individuals with underlying medical conditions. Flu season generally runs from October through May. State Health Commissioner Dr. William VanNess says everyone should still be diligent with hand washing.
Additional tips from the Indiana State Department of Health:
Dr. VanNess says practicing the following “Three C’s” will help protect you and prevent the spread of flu.
·        Clean: properly wash your hands frequently with warm, soapy water.
·        Cover: cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or a disposable tissue.
·        Contain: stay home from school/work when you are sick to keep your germs from spreading.
Flu symptoms include cough, fever, sore throat and body aches. Anyone experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider. Individuals 65 and older are more susceptible to complications and death from flu and are urged to seek treatment quickly if they experience symptoms.
Flu vaccination is recommended for anyone six months of age or older. It is especially important for those at higher risk of complications related to the flu, to get vaccinated. High risk individuals include pregnant women, young children, people with chronic illnesses and/or compromised immune systems and the elderly. Because the vaccine can be less effective for people 65 and older, it is especially important for others to get vaccinated to help prevent the spread of flu to individuals in that age group.
For more information about Indiana’s 2012-2013 influenza season, visit the Indiana State Department of Health at www.StateHealth.in.gov
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Multiple Shots Fired in Gary Homicide

Gary Police and the Lake County Crime Lab are investigating a shooting death overnight that occurred in the area of a corner store in the 700 block of West 45th Avenue in Gary. The Lake County Coroners office says 22-year-old Bryan David Taylor of Gary suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene at midnight this morning. Gary Police Public Information Corporal Gabrielle King says officers responded to the report of shots fired in the area of 45th and Harrison just before 11pm. "And upon their arrival, they found 22-year-old Bryan D. Taylor lying on the ground, unresponsive and no signs of life.  Mr Taylor was identified at the scene by Detective James Bond who had recognized him from previous encounters with him," Corporal King said. "It's our understanding there were numerous shots that were fired," King said. Anyone who saw anything in the area of 45th and Harrison just minutes before 11 pjm Wednesday night is urged to call either Gary Detective James Bond, who can be reached at 219-881-4751, or Gary Corporal Ed Gonzalez, who can reached at 219-881-4750, as the two are both working this case.  Corporal King says the shooting victim was located outside of the nearby store.
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Police Seek Public's Help in Holdup

Porter County Sheriffs Police are asking for the public's help as they continue to investigate an armed robbery in South Haven Tuesday night. Officers say shortly after 10-o'clock, the subject entered the Speedway gas station at US 6 and State Road 149 and confronted the clerk as she came out of the back room. Police say the suspect pointed a handgun at the clerk and made her open the register and give him an undisclosed amount of currency.  The suspect is described as a black male, 5'9" with a large build, wearing blue/black pants, black shoes, tan gloves, dark blue nylon winter coat with a green collar and 2 red stripes running horizontally across the center of the back. The suspect also was wearing a black ski mask over his face. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department Detective Bureau at 219-477-3140. Anonymous tips can be called into WeTip at 1-800-782-7463. WeTip offers up to a $1,000 reward for information aiding in the arrest and conviction of any suspects involved.
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Griffith Graffiti Investigated

Police in Griffith are investigating what's been described as the largest incident of graffiti the town has seen in recent memory as far as the number of buildings covered in one act. Griffith Police Chief Greg Mance says more than a dozen structures, including garages and fences, in the alleyway along Indiana Street were defaced with blue spray paint.  Chief Mance says the graffiti was found during the morning hours of Tuesday April 16 between the 200 and 400 blocks of Indiana Street in the alleyway. "The graffiti did have some resemblance of gang graffiti, and we are investigating it very vigorously with two officers working directly on that case," the Chief said. Chief Mance also says the town can assist with cleanup. "We take all graffiti, especially anything that might have gang affiliation to it, very seriously," asking that the public report it immediately. "There is a policy in place that the town parks department is able to take that graffiti off with equipment, at no charge to the public, with their permission."   Chief Mance says residents should contact the police department first, at their non-emergency number, 219-924-3141.
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Update: Region Road Closures

highwater illinois WinCE
From the INDOT Cams this morning, overhead electronic sign along I65 near 101st Avenue in Lake County, IN, warns of flooding in Illinois
Hammond Police report:
-Northcote Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-Columbia Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-In North Hammond US 41/Calumet Avenue is closed at 141st through 129th
INDOT reports:
-Cline Avenue is closed between Riley Road and Calumet Avenue (East Chicago)
Also -- the westbound ramp rom the Borman Expressway to Calumet Avenue was closed earlier (Hammond), and there was concern about the water level at the Kennedy Avenue ramp off the Borman (Hammond)
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Tornado Watch Cancelled for the Region

A Tornado Watch remains in effect for 39 counties in Indiana, but counties around the Region are no longer included in that watch area. Other weather alerts remain in effect.
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
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Tornado Watch, Other Alerts in Effect

Multiple watches and warnings are in effect for the Region today related to the heavy rains moving across Northwest Indiana and the Midwest. 
A Tornado Watch for our entire listening area has been posted til 4 pm CDT. A Flash Flood Warning that includes Lake County and southwestern Porter County is in effect until 2 pm CDT. There's also a Wind Advisory from this morning through tonight.  A Flood Watch continues for Northwest Indiana.  A Flood Warning for the Little Calumet River at Munster is in effect where observed flooding has changed from minor to moderate severity. A Flood Warning is also in effect for the Kankakee River at Shelby, affecting Lake and Newton Counties.
For updates from the National Weather Service: 
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
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Road Closures in Hammond

Heavy rains have led to road closures in parts of Hammond. Kennedy Avenue is still passable.  Hammond Police Lt. Pat Vicari gave us an update::
-Northcote Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-Columbia Ave bridge from Hammond to Munster closed
-In North Hammond US 41/Calumet Avenue is closed at 141st through 129th
Heavy rains have caused major flooding in and around Chicago. ABC reports cars are underwater... "I have an underground parking garage and the water in the parking garage is up to the tires, " was one description. And expressways are underwater making it difficult to get to work... "Probably about eight inches of water just submerging the roads."
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Severe Thunderstorm Warning Issued

warned area
Click here for updates:
http://forecast.weather.gov/hazards/lot
BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHICAGO/ROMEOVILLE IL 809 AM CDT THU APR 18 2013 THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN CHICAGO HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR... IROQUOIS COUNTY IN EAST CENTRAL ILLINOIS... SOUTHEASTERN KANKAKEE COUNTY IN NORTHEAST ILLINOIS... BENTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... JASPER COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... SOUTHERN LAKE COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... NEWTON COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... SOUTHERN PORTER COUNTY IN NORTHWEST INDIANA... * UNTIL 945 AM CDT * AT 806 AM CDT...A LINE OF SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WAS LOCATED ALONG A LINE EXTENDING FROM CHEBANSE TO RANKIN...AND MOVING NORTHEAST AT 40 MPH. HAZARD...70 MPH WIND GUSTS. SOURCE...RADAR INDICATED. IMPACT...EXPECT CONSIDERABLE TREE DAMAGE. DAMAGE IS POSSIBLE TO MOBILE HOMES...ROOFS AND OUTBUILDINGS. * SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WILL BE NEAR... AROMA PARK AND CLAYTONVILLE AROUND 815 AM CDT. ST. ANNE AROUND 820 AM CDT. WATSEKA AND MILFORD AROUND 825 AM CDT. MOMENCE AND HOPKINS PARK AROUND 830 AM CDT. STOCKLAND AND SHELDON AROUND 835 AM CDT. TALBOT AROUND 940 AM EDT. OTHER LOCATIONS IN THE WARNING INCLUDE MARTINTON...SUN RIVER TERRACE...WOODLAND...PAPINEAU...WELLINGTON...DONOVAN...BEAVERVILLE... IROQUOIS...AMBIA AND SCHNEIDER. OTHER LOCATIONS AFFECTED... KANKAKEE COMMUNITY COLLEGE...KANKAKEE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS... SPEEDWAY...US 41 DRAGWAY... PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... FOR YOUR PROTECTION MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A BUILDING....

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Flood Safety Tips from Ind St Police

Indiana State Police say the threat of heavy rain makes flooding a real threat in north central Indiana. Floods occur as streams and rivers overflow their banks. This can occur from deep snow run off or during heavy rainfall. Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. Flash flooding can occur after a few minutes of heavy rain fall or after hours of significant precipitation. Hoosiers who live in flood prone areas should always be conscious of the threat of flash floods when receiving significant rainfall. The Indiana State Police offers a few flood safety tips.
• Don’t travel unless absolutely necessary. If you have to travel carry a cell phone with a car charger.
• Purchase a weather scanner and heed all flood and flash flood warnings issued by the National Weather Service.
• Do not drive around barricades at water crossings.
• Be especially vigilant at night. Many drowning deaths occur at night when it is difficult to see water crossings.
• Do not cross or enter flowing water. Driving fast through high water on the road is not a solution. Faster speeds create less tire contact with the road surface and increase your chance of crashing.
• Driving through standing water may affect your brakes. Test your brakes at low speeds as soon as you exit the water.
• If you choose to abandon your vehicle, respect the force of the water flow, you may be swept off your feet. After you exit the vehicle seek higher ground.
• Be aware that road erosion may occur when there is running or standing water.
• Remember that six inches of water will reach the bottoms of most car doors. One foot of water will float many vehicles, and two feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles.
If you find yourself stranded in flood waters remain calm and call 911. If you can do so safely move to higher ground.
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