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NORTHWEST INDIANA - The winner of the Republican Party in the May primary for the Lake County Council Christian Jorgensen talked with Lakeshore Public Radio's Sharon Jackson after Friday's recount. Jorgensen is currently President of the St John Town Council and he is an attorney by trade.  Jorgensen ran against incumbent Eldon Strong for the 7th district seat.  When asked about his opponent's concession of the race he said that was a positive.
 

Nathan Holth / http://historicbridges.org

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. (AP) — Dredging of a ship canal in northwest Indiana has begun as environmental regulators continue to study off-site disposal options for highly contaminated sediments, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Early Learning Grants Awarded In 16 Counties

Jun 6, 2018
(Elle Moxley/StateImpact Indiana)

The state is giving different early learning providers across Indiana more funding as a part of efforts to improve quality and access to preschool programs.

The Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) announced the recipients of more than $1.5 million dollars in grant money this week, for expanding the capacity of early learning across the state.

Tony Martin, Times Media / Provided by Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Forum, the seven-county economic development organization is taking part in creating a regional economic development strategic playbook.

The organization serves Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke Counties.  Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, says the development of a regional economic development plan will work to serve all the partners in a more combined fashion.

Indy Suburbs Fastest Growing Cities, Towns In Indiana

May 24, 2018

Indiana outpaces the Midwest for population growth. But a new Indiana Business Research Center study finds the suburbs around Indianapolis take the spotlight.

Suburban counties around Indianapolis are growing rapidly, while other metropolitan areas in the state like Gary and Evansville are losing population.

Indiana Business Research Center senior analyst Matt Kinghorn says that’s part of a larger trend for the state. While Indiana isn’t growing as fast as southern or western states, but Kinghorn says Indiana is still standing out. 

IDEM Predicts High Ozone In Indiana On Thursday

May 23, 2018

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management predicts high levels of ozone for most of the state on Thursday May 23. This means children, seniors, and anyone with a heart or lung condition should avoid strenuous work or exercise outside. 

Lauren Cross / The Times

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Authorities in Indiana are continuing an investigation into a weekend shooting that wounded two off-duty police officers.

The Times reports that both officers were patrons at Growlers Bar in Highland, Indiana, when they were shot early Saturday.

The officers are from East Chicago and Gary.

MERRILLVILLE - Indiana State Police confirmed this Thursday that they have been asked to investigate an excessive force complaint against three Lake County sheriff's officers. 

The investigation was spurred by an excessive force complaint filed with the Gary Police Department by Miata L. Lawson, 27, of Gary following her arrest on May 9th, for suspicion of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, battery on law enforcement and public intoxication.

People are said to experience food insecurity when they do not have access to enough food for all family members to live a healthy, active life. An annual report measures the rate of food insecurity in Indiana slightly under the national average, almost 14 percent of the population. 

The county where the Map the Meal Gap report found the highest rate of food insecurity is Marion County, at 18.3 percent. The county with the lowest measured rate is Hamilton County, at 8.8 percent.  

Counties Want Out Of New Indiana Abortion Lawsuit

May 2, 2018
Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky CEO Christie Gillespie (left) and ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk discuss a recent victory in an abortion lawsuit. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Three Indiana county prosecutors don’t want to defend the state’s new anti-abortion law against a suit brought by Planned Parenthood.

quitsmokingsupport.com / quitsmokingsupport.com

LAKE AND PORTER COUNTY - The negative effects of bad air quality on the health of Lake and Porter County residents is prominent.  Each year the American Lung Association releases a "State of the Air" report, which collects data from monitors operated by State Environmental Protection agencies in all states.  The organization evaluates the data to determine the air quality county by county. 

Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association says just over 114,550 Lake County residents suffer from lung disease.

Lakeshore Public Media

LAKE AND PORTER COUNTY - Lake County's air quality grade for Ozone is at the bottom of the scale.  Angela Tin, Vice President of Environmental Health for the American Lung Association, says for the past 19 years the American Lung Association has put out a "State of the Air" report, which collects data from monitors operated by State Environmental Protection agencies in all states.  The American Lung Association evaluates the data to determine the air quality county by county.

The first wave of 2018 school funding referenda are up for consideration in about two weeks. That means voters in several counties will have the power to approve or deny tax measures to make millions of dollars available for their local schools.

Purdue University economics professor Larry DeBoer says school funding referenda are usually more likely to pass in May, and the overall number of those winning voter approval has grown in recent years.

Two men, convicted and later exonerated for rape, announced yesterday they are suing the city of Hammond and local and state authorities for allegedly framing them for rape.

 

Roosevelt Glenn and Darryl Pinkins spent a combined 42 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of rape in the early 90s. Glenn was later released on parole in 2009, while Pinkins was released in 2016.

 

Report: Indiana Air Pollution Hurts Hoosier Health

Apr 17, 2018

A new national report outlines the impact of pollution in Indiana on public health and finds communities across the state register significant negative impacts.

Indianapolis, South Bend and Madison rank low for communities that experience poor air quality leading to asthma, respiratory and cardiovascular conditions. American Lung Association Senior Vice President Paul Billings says factors like vehicle traffic impact air quality in northern and central Indiana. 

The Environmental Protection Agency visited East Chicago, Indiana, Saturday, to update residents on contamination cleanup.

EPA Region 5 Administrator Cathy Stepp and U.S. EPA senior advisor Albert Kelly attended the briefing and listened to public comment.

Residents heard updates from the on-site remediation coordinators and participated in, sometimes heated, Q&A sessions. Those comments were heard loud and clear, says Kelly.

Crews begin tearing down a portion of the West Calumet Housing Complex on April 2. They drench the debris to prevent the spread of lead and arsenic contamination to the surrounding neighborhood. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Lauren Chapman

Demolition began Monday afternoon on East Chicago’s West Calumet Housing Complex, but the U.S.S. Lead Superfund site still leaves former residents concerned for their future.

An excavator slowly tore down a duplex at the corner of Magnolia Lave and Aster Avenue as water canons sprayed onto and surrounding the building to prevent any contamination.

INDOT

Today:  a conversation with Matt Deitchley, director of communications for the LaPorte District of the Indiana Department of Transportation, better known as INDOT.  He'll review the history of Interstate-65  -- how it got so comgested -- and the plans for improving I-65 in Lake and northern Newton Counties.  INDOT's contractors are widening the highway between U.S.

Senate Approves School Financial Management Bill

Mar 6, 2018

Lawmakers in the Senate approved a controversial school financial management bill Tuesday.

Parts of the bill would heavily impact the function and oversight of Muncie and Gary schools and have stirred heated debate in recent weeks.

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Barbara Anguiano / WVPE

 

Some property owners in Northern Indiana are preparing to face eminent domain battles as plans for South Shore Rail Line improvements move forward this year.

 

Gary Emergency Manager Plan: Close High School, Reconfigure Grade Levels

Feb 16, 2018

The state-appointed manager of the Gary Community School Corporation told state officials Friday the district faces an $18 million annual deficit and a proposal to close two buildings is only the start of cutting costs.

Gary Schools emergency manager Peggy Hinckley asked the state’s Distressed Unit Appeal Board Friday to let her close the Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts Academy and the district’s central office, formerly the Lincoln School, this summer.

Senate Education Committee Delays School Finance Bill Vote

Feb 15, 2018

An Indiana Senate committee has decided to postpone voting on a controversial school financials bill because of its effect on Muncie and Gary schools. Some committee members say the bill too radically changes plans lawmakers approved last session.

Last year, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) singled out Gary and Muncie schools for their financial debts, putting emergency management processes in place.

READ MORE: Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

Lakeshore Public Media

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Northwest Indiana is getting hit with more snow.  Ricky Castro, Meteorologist with the Chicago National Weather Service in Romeoville says the system is going to be a continuation of what the Region received over the weekend.  Castro says the snow on Monday was expected to arrive in Northwest Indiana at around three in the afternoon, or slightly before.

Food Bank of Northwest Indiana

NORTHWEST INDIANA - February 1st through March 16th you may see large piles of peanut butter across Lake and Porter Counties.  The Food Bank of Northwest Indiana is having a peanut butter drive to help spread the love in the spirit of Valentine's Day and the organization invites everyone to help.  Individuals and groups across Lake and Porter counties will be holding peanut butter drives, collecting thousands of jars to be distributed to local individuals and families facing hunger this season.

Lawmakers will consider legislation this session, that would create a type of early warning system to to help identify schools facing significant financial problems.

The state took over Gary and Muncie Community Schools last year after their finances reached crisis levels. Now, Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) has filed legislation to prevent more major state takeovers by catching financial problems early. He says it’s a way the state could step in to help before it’s too late.

All Hoosier voters could cast absentee ballots by mail without any excuse under legislation advanced Monday by a Senate panel.

Under current law, a voter must provide a reason they’re voting absentee by mail – for instance, they’ll be out of town on Election Day. The bill from Sen. Frank Mrvan (D-Hammond) would eliminate that requirement – anyone could vote absentee by mail.

Pinterest.com

HAMMOND - With the goal of opening a dialogue about racism and inspiring a focus on our commonalities over our differences, the Urban League of Northwest Indiana is having its Diversity and Inclusion Symposium at Purdue University Northwest from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thursday (11/9).  Dr. Vanessa Allen McCloud, President and CEO Urban League of the Northwest Indiana serving Lake, Porter and LaPorte Counties talks about the organization's goals.

All But One First-Time School Funding Referenda Pass

Nov 7, 2017

UPDATE: Nearly all of Tuesday’s ballot measures passed. The LaGrange County Clerk’s office confirmed the levy for Westview schools received overwhelming support from voters with a 92 percent approval rate. Hobart and Hammond schools also received voter approval for their proposals. Meanwhile, 70 percent of voters in the West Clark School community rejected their $95 million referendum for major renovations at Silver Creek High.

More than 30 East Chicago homeowners last week sued several companies the federal government holds responsible for toxic industrial contamination.

Those companies include DuPont, Atlantic Richfield, British Petroleum, U.S.S. Lead and Mueller Industries.

The lawsuit alleges those companies caused property loss to residents who live in a lead-contaminated Superfund site and that, “[f]or decades, Defendants’ lead smelting, lead refining, and other manufacturing processes wreaked environmental havoc in the Calumet neighborhood of East Chicago.”

Indiana has begun planning how to use its $40.9 million portion of the Volkswagen pollution settlement.

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management, or IDEM, wants public input on a plan to pay to upgrade diesel equipment in places with severe emissions.

VW admitted last year to tampering with emissions equipment in 600,000 of its cars sold in the U.S. The company’s $2.7 billion Clean Air Act settlement includes money for states to offset pollution from the altered cars.

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