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MCHS MCJROTC COMPETES, EARNS AWARD AT HOBART RAIDER COMPETITION

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The cadets of the Michigan City High School (MCHS) Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (MCJROTC) earned a first-place finish in the orienteering event at the Hobart Army JROTC Raider competition on Saturday, October 20th. Fifteen teams representing schools from throughout Indiana, Illinois and Michigan participated.  The other physically demanding events were the tire carry, rope bridge, fitness challenge, buddy carry, stretcher carry, pull-ups and a 2.5-mile run. “Our kids gave it everything they had,” said Marine Instructor Master Sergeant Jeff Benak. “There were some pretty fit schools, particularly the Army JROTCs, as the Raider comp is one of their primary focuses.” Major Tom McGrath, the Senior Marine Instructor, also commended the cadets, particularly their ability to manage multiple tasks.  “Just about everyone who is on the Raider team is also on our Drill Team, and some are also on our Cyber Patriot team. Additionally, all of them assist with our many community service projects. These cadets are really dedicated to our program, our school, and our community. The military drill team McGrath referred to has been preparing to host and compete in the MCJROTC Midwest Sectional Drill Meet on November 17th. If they finish in the top 4 teams, they will advance to the Regional Meet in Reading, PA on March 2nd.  Their objective is to advance and win the National MCJROTC meet in Washington, DC on April 13th. Last year, MCHS did qualify for the national meet and earned first place in one event. Additionally, they are preparing for the Veterans Day ceremony on November 9th at 1:30 pm in the MCHS gym. This ceremony features the MCHS band and choir along with the cadets. The guest speaker will be State Senator Mike Bohacek. The ceremony is open to the public. Veterans from all services are encouraged to attend, as they will be recognized as part of the ceremony.

Pedestrian Identified in Early Monday State Road 49 Crash

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Valparaiso Police responded to the area, of State Road 49 and LaPorte Ave. at around 1:22 a.m. for a vehicle crash involving a pedestrian. A male subject was lying in the roadway on State Road 49 when struck by a tractor trailer.  The tractor trailer was traveling northbound on State Road 49. The male was transported to Porter Regional Hospital and later airlifted to a South Bend Hospital for further treatment. At the time of the crash police were unable to identify the subject.  Police have now learned the pedestrian is a 16-year old man from Illinois. He was reported to be staying with his parents at the Valparaiso Hampton Inn. The family of the subject has advised police he had walked away from the hotel prior to the crash occurring. His condition remains unknown at this time of this release.  Police continue to investigate the crash

Hometown Holiday Celebration!

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Come out to Thomas Centennial Park & Downtown Chesterton on November 24th from 11am-7pm for the Duneland Chamber’s Hometown Holiday Celebration!

This year’s Hometown Holiday Celebration includes the Outdoor Market, Tree Lighting Ceremony; Carriage Rides; Visits with Santa; Retail Open House; and the Annual Twilight Christmas Parade!

**Jackie Beissel will be broadcasting LIVE from the Twilight Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony.

For the full schedule of events, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/2145159258828204/

 

Courthouse security deputies attacked at the Michigan City Courthouse

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

At approx. 11:30 am Friday morning, Courthouse security Deputies Jon Keene and Aaron King were physically attacked by in individual who was later identified as 37 year old Joshua Duncan, from Michigan City. At approx. 11:30 am, Joshua Duncan walked into the courthouse and as he entered the security checkpoint, he without provocation or warning “sucker” punched Deputy Keene in the nose. He then turned toward Deputy King and began physically assaulting Deputy King. Deputy Keene drew his issued taser, deploying it on Mr. Duncan. as the fight continued, both deputies were eventually able to gain control of and handcuff Mr. Duncan. With the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, Mr. Duncan was transported to the LaPorte County Jail, where he is being held on two preliminary counts of felony battery of a law enforcement officer. Deputies Keene and King were transported to Franciscan Hospital Michigan City for their injuries. Deputy Keene suffered a severe nose injury and Deputy King suffered minor scratches to his arms. Sheriff John T. Boyd wishes to commend both deputies for their quick action and resolve, to take Duncan into custody even though they were injured, thus preventing any harm to the other county employees or citizens that were in the courthouse at the time of this incident.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while escaping a domestic-violence situation is not easy for victims, immigrant survivors of abuse face especially difficult challenges. According to the C-D-C, every minute in the U-S about 20 people are physically abused by their partner, and experts say immigrant women are especially vulnerable. Kerry Hyatt Bennett with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence says language barriers, distance from family and friends, misconceptions about U-S law and financial instability make it difficult to get away. But Hyatt Bennett says immigrant survivors of abuse can get help from the police, the courts, and other agencies. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence can connect all victims of domestic violence to interpreters, counseling, safety planning, emergency housing and legal assistance. Domestic violence includes sexual violence, economic abuse, and emotional abuse. And Hyatt Bennett says some immigrants come from cultures that accept domestic violence, and victims may harbor guilt about leaving. Hyatt Bennett says the coalition trains law enforcement, judges and others in the legal system about the complexities of immigrant domestic violence cases. She adds that offering legal relief to immigrant survivors is not fast-tracking them into citizenship. Under the Violence Against Women Act, immigrant victims of abuse can escape a batterer and protect their families without fear of deportation.

September Indiana Employment Report

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.5 percent for September and remains lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force. Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 4,564 over the previous month. This was a result of a 337 decrease in unemployed residents and an increase of 4,901 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent. In addition, the number of Indiana’s ongoing regular unemployment insurance claims is the lowest since 1976, when UI claims were first recorded. Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp.

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Chesterton

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Chesterton Police will be accepting unused prescription drugs on October 27 from 10am to 2pm. They will be in the parking lot on the south side of Broadway, across from the Police Station. No needles, inhalers, or liquids will be accepted.

Courthouse security deputies attacked at the Michigan City Courthouse

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

At approx. 11:30 am Friday morning, Courthouse security Deputies Jon Keene and Aaron King were physically attacked by in individual who was later identified as 37 year old Joshua Duncan, from Michigan City. At approx. 11:30 am, Joshua Duncan walked into the courthouse and as he entered the security checkpoint, he without provocation or warning “sucker” punched Deputy Keene in the nose. He then turned toward Deputy King and began physically assaulting Deputy King. Deputy Keene drew his issued taser, deploying it on Mr. Duncan. as the fight continued, both deputies were eventually able to gain control of and handcuff Mr. Duncan. With the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, Mr. Duncan was transported to the LaPorte County Jail, where he is being held on two preliminary counts of felony battery of a law enforcement officer. Deputies Keene and King were transported to Franciscan Hospital Michigan City for their injuries. Deputy Keene suffered a severe nose injury and Deputy King suffered minor scratches to his arms. Sheriff John T. Boyd wishes to commend both deputies for their quick action and resolve, to take Duncan into custody even though they were injured, thus preventing any harm to the other county employees or citizens that were in the courthouse at the time of this incident.

“2018” LEAF PICK UP SCHEDULE

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Beginning on Monday October 22, 2018, City of Michigan City Departments will be picking up leaves in all areas of the city. Leaf pick-up will occur daily, Monday through Saturday, until all leaves are picked up. All residents are encouraged to rake, blow, and/or place their leaves near the street curb along the front of their property. Compost will also be picked up along with the leaves starting on October 22, 2018. If citizens have branches that need to be picked up, you are asked to please call in your requests to the Central Service Department at 873-1500.
The Street Department and Sanitary District request that residents cooperate by following these rules:
No plastic bags are to be used
Branches, rocks and other debris must be kept out of the leaf piles
Leaf piles should be loose in large piles in front of the property as close to the curb as possible, but away from the sewer drains and Fire hydrants.
(NO TOTERS PLEASE)
NOTE* Leaves will not be picked up in the alleys.

Trick-or-Treat Downtown Chesterton

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Downtown businesses will be offering trick or treating for Duneland families this year on Friday, October 26, from 4-6pm. Parents and their children should look for purple flyers in the windows of participating businesses along Indian Boundary, Calumet and Broadway in Chesterton. The Duneland Chamber will be handing out candy along with other local business in the chamber parking lot as well.

College Goal Sunday is less than 2 weeks away

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at 39 sites in Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The event is set for 2 p.m. (local time), October 28th. The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15th to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. College Goal Sunday is so important since completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon at a College Goal Sunday event, students and their families can get free help and file the form online. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA). College Goal Sunday Doubles the Help Offered “The event on October 28th will be one of two College Goal Sundays ISFAA is offering this FAFSA filing season.” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday events across Indiana, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”
According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to CHE statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.
“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” said Wozniak. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but offers two events during the year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”
Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at CollegeGoalSunday.org. Students may also win one of five $1000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in December, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning students. 21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help. For more information about College Goal Sunday visit CollegeGoalSunday.org.

Wheatfield Natural Gas System Upgrade Project Near Completion

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

NIPSCO will complete the final phase of natural gas system upgrade in Wheatfield as part of the company’s ongoing modernization plan to upgrade their natural gas infrastructure system. The upgrade has included adding a new natural gas regulating station to ensure safe and reliable natural gas service to customers in the Demotte and Wheatfield area. Monday, October 22 through Monday, October 29 NIPSCO and their contracted crews from NPL, TDW, and Mulcare will be performing a routine procedure which will tie two main natural gas pipelines together at the corner of 1300 N and 50 W and the corner of SR10 and 200 W. During this routine procedure, residents and businesses within a one mile radius of the tie-in locations may observe a distinguished audible noise and natural gas odors in the air. The project is scheduled for one week, intermittently, from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. CDT, weather permitting. During construction hours, SR 10 will be open to one lane for 200 feet near the cross road of 200 West. Crews may have to work into the later evening hours. Signs will be posted prior to lane closures and flaggers will be on site directing traffic during construction hours. Customers are not expected to experience any interruptions to their natural gas service. The public is encouraged to exercise caution when traveling near any construction zone to ensure personal safety and the safety of construction crews working on this project. NIPSCO appreciates the patience of the community during this important infrastructure modernization project and will continue to work with Jasper County and Wheatfield officials to minimize customer impacts. For your safety, NIPSCO encourages anyone who may detect natural gas odors, regardless of whether or not they suspect it’s related to this project, to call 1-800-4-NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726). A service technician will be sent to check the safety of the area. For more information on NIPSCO’s modernization plan please visit NIPSCO.com/future.
Detecting a Gas Leak:
Since natural gas is colorless and odorless, NIPSCO adds a harmless, non-toxic chemical that makes it easier to detect a gas leak before it can create a hazardous situation. The chemical, called mercaptan, smells a lot like rotten eggs.
When You Smell Gas Outside:
If you suspect a leak outside, NIPSCO offers the following safety reminders:
· Turn off and abandon any motorized equipment you might be using
· Leave the area quickly and warn others to stay away from the area Remain outside until NIPSCO can send someone to check on the source of the odor An odor of gas outside your home should be reported just as you would report an inside odor. Gas leaks from service lines could migrate into your home through walls or drain lines.
For more safety related information, visit NIPSCO.com/StaySafe.

Northwest Indiana Workforce Board receives grant to recruit and retrain dislocated workers

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Center of Workforce Innovations on behalf of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board (NWIWB) and other partner cities of Midwest Urban Strategies (MUS), with nearly $8 million in Trade and Economic Transition Dislocated Worker grant funding to help mature dislocated workers reconnect with employment in growth occupations and industries. The grant award will be used to coordinate and implement a regional strategy to recruit mature workers that have experienced a dislocation in sectors negatively impacted by technology and automation. Specifically, partners will use pre-apprentice and registered apprenticeship, customized, just-in-time training to develop best practice strategies. The NWIWB will receive $650,000 of the funding to deploy in Northwest Indiana and the Gary metropolitan area. The strategy will focus on efforts to engage and retrain mature workers with new skill sets and gain reemployment in sectors including Healthcare, Transportation and Logistics, Information Technology, Financial Services and Advanced Manufacturing

Hammond collects Donations for Deployed Military Personnel

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The 2018 City of Hammond Veteran Appreciation Day Committee continues to celebrate Veteran’s Day through November 30 by requesting donations for deployed military personnel in conjunction with the Veteran Appreciation Day Parade. Donations will be accepted at the Hammond Civic Center on Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm in the Business Office. There will also be a huge banner to sign to say thank you to deployed military in each of the five branches of the Armed Forces. These banners will be available to sign in Hessville Park at the conclusion of the Veteran Appreciation Day Parade Ceremony. nFor more information, contact the Hammond Parks Department at (219) 853-7708 or visit www.gohammond.com. To enter your organized group into the parade, fill out the online entry form here: http://www.gohammond.com/vadppf.

Need Help Navigating Your Medicare Options?

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free and impartial counseling program for people with Medicare. SHIP is provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance and Administration on Community Living. SHIP is part of a federal network of State Health Insurance Assistance Programs located in every state. All of SHIP’s services are offered at no charge to consumers. SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company or agency and does not sell insurance. SHIP is staffed by a crew of volunteer counselors who have completed intensive training to offer Medicare beneficiaries objective assistance in complete confidence. With more than 100 SHIP sites throughout the state of Indiana, a SHIP counselor is never far away from those who need assistance. SHIP offers numerous events and presentations throughout the state of Indiana to assist Medicare beneficiaries. During open enrollment, some of these events include assistance using the online Planfinder Tool that allows beneficiaries to compare prescription drug plans and Medigap policies based on their specific needs. A listing of SHIP events can be found at www.Medicare.in.gov. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (open enrollment) happens every year from October 15 through December 7. This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their Medicare Advantage health and prescription drug plans for the next year. If you purchase a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan or switch plans during the annual enrollment period, the changes will begin January 1, 2019. There are new options offered in Indiana for 2019. These include Medicare Advantage plans with expanded benefits and Medicare Savings Accounts (MSAs). MSAs combine a high-deductible health plan with a bank account that the plan selects. For this year, the deductible is $6700, and the plan will deposit $2,520 into the account. You can use the money to pay for health care services during the year. You cannot add funds to the account, but it can accrue interest and the unused balance will rollover to the next year. MSAs don’t include drug coverage so you would have to enroll in a stand-alone Part D drug plan. Medicare beneficiaries with income less than $1,850/month and limited assets might qualify for programs that help to pay for Part B monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Some programs even help to pay for prescriptions. SHIP can help with these applications. If you or someone you know needs help with their Medicare questions, call the SHIP helpline at 1-800-452-4800 or the TDD line for the hearing impaired at 1-866-846-0139. You also can find SHIP online at www.Medicare.IN.gov. The search for dedicated SHIP Volunteers is ongoing. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can learn more and even apply at www.Medicare.in.gov.

MCHS, Barker Students to Perform with Honor Bands

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Seven Michigan City Area Schools instrumental music students have been selected to participate in area honor bands. Barker Middle School students Kyra Krachinski (flute) and Jameer Nelson (bass clarinet) and Michigan City High School student Autumn Reynolds (alto saxophone) will participate in the Indiana Bandmasters Association (IBA) All Region Band on November 10-11 at Portage High School. Michigan City High School students Adam Howard (trumpet), Mia Taylor (clarinet), Trinity Clayton (oboe), and William Mansfield (tuba) will be participating in the IBA All District Honor Band on November 17-18 at Kankakee Valley High School.

THE GREATER MICHIGAN CITY CHAPTER OF THE DRIFTERS PRESENTS SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM “TIL DEATH DO YOU TWEET”

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The Greater Michigan City Drifters is a 501c3 organization comprised of predominantly African American civic minded women focused on the youth and elderly in the Michigan City area. The organization received a “Power for Good” grant from the Unity Foundation and reached out to additional partners to bring this seminar to all 8th and 9th graders in the Michigan City Area School System. Partners Harbour Trust, Open Door Adolescent Clinic, LaPorte County Circuit Court, Michigan City Human Rights Commission and Michigan City High School Student United Way made it possible to expand the reach of the program and add an additional program for parents. This parent seminar is open to the public, Tuesday, October 23, 6:00 pm at Michigan City Public Library. Tech-Life Expert, Stephanie Humphrey presents “Til Death Do You Tweet” as an interactive seminar for students and/or parents designed to raise awareness about how the way you present yourself online can hurt your reputation in real life. Understanding the idea of building your brand is explored, and some of the potential negative consequences of poor online behavior are outlined through real-world examples. Students/parents are then given tips on how to maintain a positive social media presence and protect their brand from unintended damage.

DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Portage

Posted on: October 20th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Did you know that unused prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to accidental poisoning, overdose, and abuse. The majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs get them from family, friends and their home medicine cabinet. If you have old or unused prescriptions please drop them off in the lobby of the Portage Police Department. Their drug disposal is always available in their lobby during business hours. They will have an Officer standing by on October 27th from 10am-2pm to answer any questions you might have. Needles or liquids cannot be accepted. Visit DEA takeback.com for more information.

September Indiana Employment Report

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.5 percent for September and remains lower than the national rate of 3.7 percent. The monthly unemployment rate is a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicator that reflects the number of unemployed people seeking employment within the prior four weeks as a percentage of the labor force. Indiana’s labor force had a net increase of 4,564 over the previous month. This was a result of a 337 decrease in unemployed residents and an increase of 4,901 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.7 percent. In addition, the number of Indiana’s ongoing regular unemployment insurance claims is the lowest since 1976, when UI claims were first recorded. Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here: http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp.

Courthouse security deputies attacked at the Michigan City Courthouse

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

At approx. 11:30 am Friday morning, Courthouse security Deputies Jon Keene and Aaron King were physically attacked by in individual who was later identified as 37 year old Joshua Duncan, from Michigan City. At approx. 11:30 am, Joshua Duncan walked into the courthouse and as he entered the security checkpoint, he without provocation or warning “sucker” punched Deputy Keene in the nose. He then turned toward Deputy King and began physically assaulting Deputy King. Deputy Keene drew his issued taser, deploying it on Mr. Duncan. as the fight continued, both deputies were eventually able to gain control of and handcuff Mr. Duncan. With the assistance of the Michigan City Police Department, Mr. Duncan was transported to the LaPorte County Jail, where he is being held on two preliminary counts of felony battery of a law enforcement officer. Deputies Keene and King were transported to Franciscan Hospital Michigan City for their injuries. Deputy Keene suffered a severe nose injury and Deputy King suffered minor scratches to his arms. Sheriff John T. Boyd wishes to commend both deputies for their quick action and resolve, to take Duncan into custody even though they were injured, thus preventing any harm to the other county employees or citizens that were in the courthouse at the time of this incident.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and while escaping a domestic-violence situation is not easy for victims, immigrant survivors of abuse face especially difficult challenges. According to the C-D-C, every minute in the U-S about 20 people are physically abused by their partner, and experts say immigrant women are especially vulnerable. Kerry Hyatt Bennett with the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence says language barriers, distance from family and friends, misconceptions about U-S law and financial instability make it difficult to get away. But Hyatt Bennett says immigrant survivors of abuse can get help from the police, the courts, and other agencies. The Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence can connect all victims of domestic violence to interpreters, counseling, safety planning, emergency housing and legal assistance. Domestic violence includes sexual violence, economic abuse, and emotional abuse. And Hyatt Bennett says some immigrants come from cultures that accept domestic violence, and victims may harbor guilt about leaving. Hyatt Bennett says the coalition trains law enforcement, judges and others in the legal system about the complexities of immigrant domestic violence cases. She adds that offering legal relief to immigrant survivors is not fast-tracking them into citizenship. Under the Violence Against Women Act, immigrant victims of abuse can escape a batterer and protect their families without fear of deportation.

College Goal Sunday is less than 2 weeks away

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Financial aid professionals will be volunteering at 39 sites in Indiana to help college-bound students and their families open the door to financial aid during College Goal Sunday. The event is set for 2 p.m. (local time), October 28th. The free program assists Indiana students in filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA form is required for students to be considered for federal and state grants, scholarships and student loans at most colleges, universities and vocational/technical schools nationwide. The FAFSA MUST be filed by April 15th to be eligible for Indiana financial aid. College Goal Sunday is so important since completing this required form correctly and by the deadline is sometimes perceived to be complicated and time consuming. In less than one afternoon at a College Goal Sunday event, students and their families can get free help and file the form online. College Goal Sunday is a charitable program of the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association (ISFAA). College Goal Sunday Doubles the Help Offered “The event on October 28th will be one of two College Goal Sundays ISFAA is offering this FAFSA filing season.” said Bill Wozniak, co-chair of College Goal Sunday. “We hope all Hoosiers who have not filed already, take advantage of College Goal Sunday events across Indiana, file the FAFSA, and get one step closer to fulfilling their educational goals.”
According to the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching first-generation college students. In recent years, according to CHE statistics, more single-parent Hoosier families have filed for financial aid, indicating programs like College Goal Sunday are reaching high-risk students and their families.
“Students who don’t complete their financial aid paperwork properly and on time are often very disappointed when they find out how much financial aid they lost,” said Wozniak. “This is why the Indiana Student Financial Aid Association not only continues to provide College Goal Sunday, but offers two events during the year. If our assistance gives students a better chance at higher education and less debt, we’re fulfilling our mission.”
Volunteers will walk through the online form line-by-line and answer families’ individual questions as needed. All sites offer FAFSA online capabilities and many have Spanish interpreters. A complete list of sites is available at CollegeGoalSunday.org. Students may also win one of five $1000 scholarships. Students who attend any of the College Goal Sunday sites and submit a completed evaluation form will automatically be entered in a drawing for a $1000 scholarship. The winners will be notified in December, and prizes will be sent directly to the higher education institution selected by the winning students. 21st Century Scholars are income-eligible students who sign a contract in the seventh or eighth grade promising they will graduate from high school, meet grade point requirements, fulfill a pledge of good citizenship, and apply for college financial aid. Upon high school graduation, Scholars who have fulfilled the commitment receive state funds to help cover their college tuition and fees for eight semesters at eligible Indiana colleges. To fulfill their pledge, scholars must submit a completed FAFSA form on time. College Goal Sunday can help. For more information about College Goal Sunday visit CollegeGoalSunday.org.

Northwest Indiana Workforce Board receives grant to recruit and retrain dislocated workers

Posted on: October 19th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The U.S. Department of Labor awarded the Center of Workforce Innovations on behalf of the Northwest Indiana Workforce Board (NWIWB) and other partner cities of Midwest Urban Strategies (MUS), with nearly $8 million in Trade and Economic Transition Dislocated Worker grant funding to help mature dislocated workers reconnect with employment in growth occupations and industries. The grant award will be used to coordinate and implement a regional strategy to recruit mature workers that have experienced a dislocation in sectors negatively impacted by technology and automation. Specifically, partners will use pre-apprentice and registered apprenticeship, customized, just-in-time training to develop best practice strategies. The NWIWB will receive $650,000 of the funding to deploy in Northwest Indiana and the Gary metropolitan area. The strategy will focus on efforts to engage and retrain mature workers with new skill sets and gain reemployment in sectors including Healthcare, Transportation and Logistics, Information Technology, Financial Services and Advanced Manufacturing

Hammond collects Donations for Deployed Military Personnel

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The 2018 City of Hammond Veteran Appreciation Day Committee continues to celebrate Veteran’s Day through November 30 by requesting donations for deployed military personnel in conjunction with the Veteran Appreciation Day Parade.  Donations will be accepted at the Hammond Civic Center on Monday through Friday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm in the Business Office. There will also be a huge banner to sign to say thank you to deployed military in each of the five branches of the Armed Forces.  These banners will be available to sign in Hessville Park at the conclusion of the Veteran Appreciation Day Parade Ceremony. nFor more information, contact the Hammond Parks Department at (219) 853-7708 or visit www.gohammond.com.  To enter your organized group into the parade, fill out the online entry form here: http://www.gohammond.com/vadppf.

Need Help Navigating Your Medicare Options?

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) is a free and impartial counseling program for people with Medicare. SHIP is provided by the Indiana Department of Insurance and Administration on Community Living. SHIP is part of a federal network of State Health Insurance Assistance Programs located in every state. All of SHIP’s services are offered at no charge to consumers. SHIP is not affiliated with any insurance company or agency and does not sell insurance. SHIP is staffed by a crew of volunteer counselors who have completed intensive training to offer Medicare beneficiaries objective assistance in complete confidence. With more than 100 SHIP sites throughout the state of Indiana, a SHIP counselor is never far away from those who need assistance. SHIP offers numerous events and presentations throughout the state of Indiana to assist Medicare beneficiaries. During open enrollment, some of these events include assistance using the online Planfinder Tool that allows beneficiaries to compare prescription drug plans and Medigap policies based on their specific needs. A listing of SHIP events can be found at www.Medicare.in.gov. The Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (open enrollment) happens every year from October 15 through December 7. This is the one time of year when ALL people with Medicare can make changes to their Medicare Advantage health and prescription drug plans for the next year. If you purchase a new Medicare Advantage or Part D plan or switch plans during the annual enrollment period, the changes will begin January 1, 2019. There are new options offered in Indiana for 2019. These include Medicare Advantage plans with expanded benefits and Medicare Savings Accounts (MSAs). MSAs combine a high-deductible health plan with a bank account that the plan selects. For this year, the deductible is $6700, and the plan will deposit $2,520 into the account. You can use the money to pay for health care services during the year. You cannot add funds to the account, but it can accrue interest and the unused balance will rollover to the next year. MSAs don’t include drug coverage so you would have to enroll in a stand-alone Part D drug plan. Medicare beneficiaries with income less than $1,850/month and limited assets might qualify for programs that help to pay for Part B monthly premiums, co-pays and deductibles. Some programs even help to pay for prescriptions. SHIP can help with these applications. If you or someone you know needs help with their Medicare questions, call the SHIP helpline at 1-800-452-4800 or the TDD line for the hearing impaired at 1-866-846-0139. You also can find SHIP online at www.Medicare.IN.gov. The search for dedicated SHIP Volunteers is ongoing. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can learn more and even apply at www.Medicare.in.gov.

Indiana Department of Insurance Approves Decrease in Workers’ Compensation Rates

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

According to a press release, Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson recently approved an average 7.6 percent reduction for Workers’ Compensation rates, effective January 1, 2019. The approved rate decrease will result in savings of approximately $62.7 million dollars for Indiana businesses.
“The significant savings will help support Indiana businesses as they grow their companies,” said Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Stephen W. Robertson.
Workers’ Compensation rates in Indiana have been on a downward trend for several years. This decrease in rates can be attributed to a drop in frequency of worker injuries. As was the case last year, the robust job market also plays a key role as payrolls increase and the economy grows, creating a larger base for collecting premiums. Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical costs associated with workplace injuries and provides wage replacement benefits to injured workers for lost work time. Indiana Workers’ Compensation rates consistently rank one of the lowest in the United States, according to the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Premium Rate Ranking report. The Information Technology and Research Section in the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has examined state rates on a biennial basis since 1986.

NIPSCO Names New Leaders for Regulatory, Electric Operations and Major Customer Teams to Better Serve Its Customers

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), a subsidiary of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) , announced yesterday, the selection of three Indiana-based leaders to oversee key business functions aimed to further enhance the company’s efforts to improve service to the nearly 1.2 million electric and natural gas customers across northern Indiana. The appointments are effective immediately.
Michael W. Hooper has been named senior vice president of regulatory and legislative affairs and strategy, responsible for the company’s regulatory and legislative activities and formulating NIPSCO’s strategic vision and plans. Hooper is replacing Frank Shambo who will be retiring at the end of the year. Hooper brings extensive electric operations, budgeting and major project management experience to the role and will have offices in Indianapolis and Merrillville. Joining NIPSCO in February 2011, Hooper has served as its senior vice president of electric operations and vice president of major projects since then. Benjamin F. Felton has been named senior vice president of electric operations, responsible for NIPSCO’s electric power delivery and generation operations. Felton brings strong electric operations and leadership experience to the role. He will be based in Merrillville. Felton joined NIPSCO in December 2015 as its vice president of power delivery. Paul Kelly has been promoted to vice president of major accounts. Kelly brings strong accounting, customer service and legal experience to the role. He will be based in Merrillville. Kelly joined NiSource as a consultant on regulatory issues in 2004 and NIPSCO’s regulatory team in 2010. He was named director of federal regulatory policy in 2012.

Visclosky Announces OSHA Grant for the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Wednesday, Congressman Pete Visclosky announced that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded a grant to the Construction Advancement Foundation of Northwest Indiana (CAF) under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Susan Harwood Training Grant Program. The $133,510 grant award will assist the CAF with the creation and implementation of a Crystalline Silica Training Program for construction workers and employers in Northwest Indiana, with a focus on small business employers. The training will include the recognition and correction for exposure to respirable silica produced from certain uses of concrete and other construction material containing silica. Dr. Jim Arendas, Environmental, Safety, and Health Director at the Construction Advancement Foundation, stated, “The Construction Advancement Foundation is dedicated to reducing injuries and illnesses in the construction industry. We work closely with contractors and the union building trades. The Susan Harwood Grant gives our organization an additional opportunity to partner with contractors, workers, and OSHA to improve construction safety in Northwest Indiana.”

Congressman Pete Visclosky stated, “I commend CAF Executive Director Dewey Pearman and Dr. Jim Arendas for successfully identifying and obtaining this federal resource that will improve the ability of contractors and workers to have a safe work environment. The number one priority for all of our dedicated construction workers is to return home safely at the end of the day, and I thank CAF for their initiative to recognize and promote the safety, quality, and dignity of our incredible workforce.”

ROAD CLOSED – Calumet Avenue in Hammond

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

U.S. 41 (Calumet Ave.) in Hammond will be closed once again on Oct. 23-24th at the bridge over State Street and the Indiana Harbor Belt railroad while crews pour a bridge deck.

Donnelly Receives 2018 ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ Award in Indianapolis

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 by [email protected] No Comments

Monday, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly received the ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ award in Indianapolis. Donnelly was recognized by the Indiana Farm Bureau for his efforts to advocate for Hoosier farmers and rural communities. During the 115th Congress, Donnelly, a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, has reduced the regulatory burden on farmers, led efforts to expand the use of biofuels, successfully included a number of Hoosier priorities in the 2018 Senate-passed Farm Bill, and pushed the Administration to end the harmful impacts that tariffs have brought on Hoosier farmers. Donnelly has received the ‘Friend of Farm Bureau’ award for each of the three Congressional sessions he has served in the Senate: the 113th, 114th, and 115th.