In addition to the 15-million in collections the Northern District of Indiana, working with its federal law enforcement partners, collected another six-point-eight million in asset forfeiture actions in Fiscal year 2013. Forfeited assets are deposited into the Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund and are used to restore funds to crime victims and are distributed to local police departments to supplement local law enforcement efforts. ...
In Michigan City, the snow removal parking restrictions that were set in place on Saturday have been lifted as of 4:30 this afternoon. Officials report normal parking rules and regulations are back in effect and Mayor Ron Meer wants to thank the citizens of Michigan City for their help and cooperation during the snow removal process. ...
Temperatures in northwest Indiana have increased and with the chance of rain this weekend brings the possibility of minor street and localized flooding. The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says, at this time, forecasts do not predict the significant flooding that some parts of the state experienced last month, but some localized flooding, especially in low lying areas, may occur this weekend. A flood warning for the Kankakee River at Shelby has been issued from Saturday morning until further notice.
Residents can help prevent street flooding by making sure storm drains are not blocked by snow or debris.
If you live near bodies of water (ponds, rivers, streams, etc.)
· Be aware that water levels can change rapidly and flooding can begin with little or no warning.
· Monitor local weather and river forecasts and keep an eye on any waterways along roads near your residence.
· Consider evacuating in advance of flooding if you think rising water may cut off your access routes to and from home.
On the road
· Never attempt to cross a flooded road, even if it seems shallow. Water can conceal dips, or worse, flood waters can damage roadways, washing away the entire road surface and a significant amount of ground.
· Do not drive around barricades at water crossings. They are there to protect the public. Disregarding warning signs and attempting to cross flooded roads endangers everyone in the vehicle as well as the first responders who may need to come to the aid of those that are stranded.
· Remember, just a few inches of moving water is enough to carry away most vehicles including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
· Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize high water danger.
For more flood safety tips, visit GetPrepared.in.gov....
(Photo Courtesy of Karl Berner)
An investigation continues into a house fire in Hammond Wednesday night in the 600 block of Sibley Street that left three young children dead and three others injured. Hammond Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they got word today that the 28 year old father, who was able to save the two other children in the home and reportedly had suffered third-degree burns, will survive and the two children who were also hospitalized are doing well.
A preliminary investigation points to two space heaters being a factor in the fire. Hammond Chief Fire Inspector, Michael Opinker told the Region News Team on Thursday that at least one space heater was connected to a propane tank and was being used to heat the lower level of the home, which had no electricity or gas. ...
Indiana US Senator Joe Donnelly today announced that the Hammond Fire Department is one of three in the state to receive FEMA's Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response, or SAFER, grants. According to the press release, the Hammond Fire Department will receive 965-thousand dollars. Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Margraf says they are very grateful to be awarded a grant of this magnitude.
Donnelly said, “Indiana’s firemen and women are some of the bravest and hardest working members of our community. I am proud to see these departments receive the federal support they need. This grant money will help them serve their communities much more safely and efficiently by allowing them to hire additional fire fighters. These men and women put their lives on the line every day, and they deserve our support.”
The SAFER grant program was created to increase the number of trained fire fighters available to communities in need. More information about these competitive grants can be found at http://www.fema.gov/staffing-adequate-fire-emergency-response-grants.
For more information on how Senator Donnelly’s office can assist groups applying for federal grants, please visit http://www.donnelly.senate.gov/help/grants....