Man Found Dead in Portage Fire

Fire officials in Portage say a 43-year-old man was found dead inside a house in the 56-hundred block of Buttercup Monday afternoon after crews responded to the report of an odor of smoke coming from a home. Officials say the mother of one of the residents had stopped to check on her son,who was disabled and wheelchair bound.  When the mother did not receive an answer at the door and noted a smell of smoke, authorities say, she called 911, and crews arrived within six minutes to find smoke coming from exterior vents. No other family members were home at the time of the fire, officials say.  The fire department says crews had the fire extinguished within 30 minutes. The Portage Fire Department, Indiana State Fire Marshal's Office, and Porter County Coroners Office are investigating.

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NWI Runners in Boston Marathon

Hundreds of state and federal investigators are in Boston trying to find out who could have built two bombs that exploded Monday at the Boston Marathon.  About twenty Region residents were participating in the race, and in total nearly three-hundred people from Indiana were registered to compete. Monday evening, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security sent out a notice saying Hoosiers having difficulty contacting family in Boston can call a designated number- 617-635-4500.   Residents are urged to not call the number unless there is difficulty contacting family.
Officials in Indianapolis said they were closely watching what was happening in Boston and plan to review security procedures for the 500 Festival Mini-Marathon, just weeks away, in light of the deadly bombings. The 13.1 mile race on May 4, just a few weeks before the Indianapolis 500,  is said to attract about 35,000 participants each year.

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Candle-Light Ceremonies Tuesday for Child Abuse Awareness

INDIANAPOLIS (April 12, 2013) – At 7 p.m. throughout Indiana on April 16, communities across the state will gather together simultaneously to hold candle-light ceremonies marking the need to prevent child abuse in Indiana.
The ceremonies, representing all 92 Indiana counties, will be held in 83 different locations, possibly making it one of the nation’s largest single-day demonstrations to raise awareness about preventing child abuse.
DCS is working with child-advocacy groups across the state, and local officials in every community, to unite families, neighbors, professionals and policy makers, in the concerted effort to identify and address the issues that lead to abuse or neglect.
“This is about unity and solidarity in making children a priority,” said new DCS Director Mary Beth Bonaventura.
By the time children come into the DCS system, they’re already victims of abuse or neglect, said Bonaventura, who spent 30 years on the bench as a judge hearing cases of family crisis. “We need all eyes and ears in the community reporting child abuse and neglect, but equally as important, we need everyone -- from families, to extended families, to communities -- working together to prevent child abuse.”  
Melanie Flory, DCS director in Knox County, says she sees the root-causes everyday of child abuse as she works with families. “Parenting is hard enough,” said Flory. “But when families are also struggling with basic survival needs, like food, shelter and keeping the lights on, it can create stress and hopelessness that escalates into child abuse.”
Children’s Bureau, Inc. understands the realities that can lead to family crises. “Child abuse prevention is a cause that should mobilize our communities to blend our resources, talents and efforts in order to protect vulnerable children,” said Tina Cloer, president and chief executive officer. “There is tremendous work being done to protect our children in the State of Indiana, but there is always opportunity for each of us to do more.”
The Children’s Bureau partners with DCS throughout the year in working to prevent child abuse, and strengthen families.
Governor Mike Pence has proclaimed April Child Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month in Indiana. The governor will kick off the Marion County ceremony on the south steps of the Indiana State House.
For a list of ceremony locations, visit:
About Indiana Department of Child Services:
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. If safety continues to be a concern, children are placed with relatives or in foster care. DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau. The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes programs designed to prevent child abuse and neglect.  Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline:  800.800.5556.
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Free Radon Test Kits Available at Porter County Health Dept

A nationwide campaign continues to educate Americans about the dangers of radon exposure and to encourage them to take action to protect their homes and families. Administrator Keith Letta, of the Porter County Health Department says radon is a naturally occurring, invisible, odorless gas, and exposure to elevated levels is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. Letta says older homes with basements that are not air and water tight are most susceptible to having high radon levels
The Porter County Health Department's Portage and Valparaiso Offices are currently offering free radon test kits. For more information, visit

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Inmates Charged after Incident at Jail this Month

Several inmates have been charged after threatening to riot and resisting guards earlier this month. Published reports say the incident occurred on April 7th, after five men were reportedly upset power was cut to Pod C-7 after an alleged fight ensued and a decision to move an inmate after said fight. The five are charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
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Obama's Statement on the Boston Explosions

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release                               April 15, 2013
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
6:11 P.M. EDT
     THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We’re continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds.  And I’ve directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.
The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight.  And Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.
We don’t yet have all the answers.  But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon.
I’ve spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano, and they’re mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond. 
I’ve updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats -- we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.
I’ve also spoken with Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino, and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families.  And above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.
Boston police, firefighters, and first responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically, and continue to do so as we speak.  It’s a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day, without regard to their own safety, in dangerous and difficult circumstances.  And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.
We still do not know who did this or why.  And people shouldn’t jump to conclusions before we have all the facts.  But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this.  And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this.  Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice.
Today is a holiday in Massachusetts -- Patriots’ Day.  It’s a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the  earliest days of our nation.  And it’s a day that draws the world to Boston’s streets in a spirit of friendly competition.  Boston is a tough and resilient town.  So are its people.  I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city.  And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.
You should anticipate that as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings.  We're still in the investigation stage at this point.  But I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.
Thank you very much.
                        END                6:14 P.M. EDT
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Crah in Hobart Cleared, Traffic Light Issue on US 30 in Valpi

A crash in Hobart has been cleared according to tipsters. A crash was reported late this afternoon at 37th Avenue and Ridge Road. No further information is available at this time. Meanwhile the traffic light is flashing red again, in all directions at US-30, in front of the Wal-Mart in Valparaiso. Please use caution when traveling.
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How Hoosiers Can Contact Family in Boston

Hoosiers having difficulty contacting family in Boston can call designated number-
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security received information from a Massachusetts emergency management agency with the following information.
Hoosiers who are having trouble contacting family in Boston can call the following number to check on them: 617-635-4500.
Please DO NOT call the number unless there is difficulty contacting family.
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21 Year Old Gary Man Charged with Child Molesting

A Gary man was in police custody at last check, charged with molesting a child over the weekend while watching a movie. The Times reports Merrillville Police have arrested 21 year old Kevin Byrd, after an alleged incident Saturday, at an apartment in the 57-hundred block of Grant Street.
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River Forest Vs Lake Station HSC Game Postponed to Tues

Today’s High School Challenge game between River Forest and Lake Station has been postponed due to inclement weather. The game is now reschedule for Tuesday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m.
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