STATE AUDITOR KLUTZ ANNOUNCES INDIANA’S 25TH CONSECUTIVE FINANCIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Indiana Auditor of State Tera Klutz, CPA, announced that for the Twenty-Fifth consecutive year, Indiana has been awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA). The GFOA established the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting Program in 1945 to encourage state and local governments to go beyond the minimum reporting requirement of financial data. The award was based on the 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which details Indiana’s financial landscape and accounts for all state funds as of June 2017. The CAFR also includes other financial, demographic, economic and statistical data. The CAFR, which was released in December 2017, is prepared in conformity with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as prescribed in pronouncements by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). It is primarily used by stakeholders currently investing or looking to invest in Indiana and is influential in the state’s AAA credit rating given by the three major credit rating agencies; Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings.
Indiana Department of Education Announces Recipients of First-Ever K-6 STEM Acceleration Grants
On Friday, The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced the recipients of the State’s first-ever K-6 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Acceleration Grants. The awards will be used for important research efforts to provide Indiana leaders with evidence of impact from STEM activities happening in classrooms across the state. Grant funds are to be used for research, surveys, and related staff support initiatives. These activities will develop recommendations to improve elementary and secondary student achievement and participation in STEM subjects throughout Indiana. Additionally, this will improve coordination among the various STEM programs. Through this opportunity, IDOE will enhance student success by accelerating exposure to and learning in the STEM disciplines for grades K-12. IDOE will provide STEM support activities during the 2018-2019 school year to help schools who have an interest in accelerating, scaling, or starting school activities based in STEM. 11 schools are receiving Indiana’s first-ever grant of this nature including School City of Mishawaka. To learn more about IDOE efforts to increase STEM education across the state, please visit: www.doe.in.gov .
Gov. Holcomb Calls Lawmakers Back for Special Session May 14
Friday, Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a proclamation calling a special session of the 120th Indiana General Assembly Monday, May 14, 2018. The Constitution of the State of Indiana provides that the governor may call a special session at his discretion if he believes public welfare requires it. The governor’s to-do items were included in the final versions of 4 bills.
Schools and School Safety:
·Deliver on the governor’s request for additional funding for the Indiana Secured School Fund by providing $5 million now and for fiscal year 2019. These additional funds will allow the state to provide increased financial support for school safety to more schools.
·Allow school corporations to obtain funding advances of up to $500,000 for school security equipment and capital purchases. Total advances may not exceed $35 million.
·Provide Muncie schools a one-time $12 million loan to remain operational and make needed capital improvements.
Federal Compliance Issues:
·Update the state’s tax code to conform with federal tax changes by updating state’s conformity date to Feb. 11, 2018. Indiana’s current conformity date is fixed by statute at Jan. 1, 2016. If the state’s conformity date is not updated, taxpayers will calculate their taxes twice to file—once under 2018 rules for federal taxes and once under 2016 rules for state taxes.
·Comply with IRS rules to protect federal taxpayer information and assure access to federal tax data.
Man Leads Police On a Chase on the Indiana Toll Road
Early Sunday morning, an Illinois man tried to flee from a trooper on the Indiana Toll Road but couldn’t outrun him. Trooper Alaa Hamed initially lost sight of the vehicle in question after an initial pursuit but four minutes later saw the Impala come from an alley adjacent to the intersection of Indianapolis Blvd and 115th Street. A pursuit began again and the driver eventually fled from the car at a dead end and jumped over the fence. Hamed caught and tackled him in a backyard of a residence and placed him in custody. Found next to the driver were two separate 5 gram individual packaged baggies containing suspected marijuana. The driver was identified as 35 year old Bernard R. Harrison of Chicago. Hamed found $3,665.00 on Harrison who was also wearing an ankle monitor (on probation in Illinois for twenty-four months for an OWI). Harrison was taken to Lake County Jail in Crown Point and charged with: Driving While Suspended, Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement, Failure to Identify, Reckless Driving, Dealing and Possession of Marijuana.
Drunk Driver Loses Control and Strikes Another Drunk Driver on 249
Early Saturday evening, an intoxicated driver lost control while trying to get onto the interstate and hit another intoxicated driver. A 2005 Toyota Highlander, driven by 21 year old Jacqueline Adan of Hammond, was north bound on State Road (SR) 249 when she exited to the on-ramp to I-94 west bound. Adan failed to negotiate the curve, ran off the roadway, went northeast through the grassy median onto the I-94 west bound to SR 249 exit ramp where she hit a 2017 Dodge Grand Caravan, driven by 32 year old Leonard Scott, 32 of Michigan City that was slowing down for the stop sign at the end of the ramp. Adan and a seventeen year old passenger also from Hammond, were taken to Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso with non-life threatening injuries. Adan tested over twice the legal limit of .08% BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at .16%. She was taken to the Porter County Jail in Valparaiso where she was charged with Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Endangerment, OWI Class A Misdemeanor, and OWI Class C Misdemeanor. Scott was also taken to Porter Regional Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He too was taken to the Porter County Jail where he was charged with OWI Refusal Class C Misdemeanor.
Walk to End Alzheimer’s Being Held in Washington Park
The Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter announced that the Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Michigan City will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, at Washington Park. The event is a wonderful opportunity for local residents to rally behind a cause that affects more than 110,000 Hoosiers living with Alzheimer’s and their 338,000 Indiana caregivers. Sign up as a team captain, join a team or register to walk as an individual at alz.org/walk or 800.272.3900.
Indiana Department of Health Urges Hoosiers to Vaccinate to Protect from Hepatitis A
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is urging Hoosiers to get vaccinated and take other steps to protect themselves from hepatitis A if they plan to travel to states that are experiencing outbreaks of the disease. Kentucky and Michigan have reported significant outbreaks of hepatitis A, a highly contagious viral infection of the liver. Kentucky has more than 300 cases, the majority of which have occurred in the Louisville area, and Michigan has more than 800 cases, including 25 deaths. Indiana, which typically sees fewer than 20 cases of hepatitis statewide each year, has confirmed 77 cases since January, many of which are related to an outbreak in southern Indiana.
(For more information on hepatitis A, visit the ISDH website at https://www.in.gov/isdh/27791.htm.)
PNW Spring Class of 1,270 to be Honored at Four Commencement Ceremonies
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) honors its 2018 class of spring graduates with four Commencement Exercises on the Hammond and Westville campuses on May 4, 5 and 7. Ceremonies will be held at PNW’s Hammond Campus in the Fitness & Recreation Center at 3 p.m., Friday, May 4 for graduates of the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences; at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 5 for the College of Business and College of Nursing; and at 3 p.m. for the College of Engineering and Sciences and College of Technology. The fourth ceremony will take place at 3 p.m., Monday, May 7 at the Westville Campus, honoring degree candidates from each of PNW’s five degree-granting academic colleges, in the H.D. Kesling Gymnasium in the James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex. Each graduation program will be streamed live at www.pnw.edu/commencement-live. A reception for graduates, family, friends, faculty and staff will follow each graduation program—May 4 and 5 at Hammond in Alumni Hall of the Student Union & Library and May 7 at Westville in the Dworkin Center Great Hall.
Second Annual “Week of Code” Taking Place in Michigan City on May 4th-11th.
For a second year, several organizations are partnering on a “Week of Code” initiative in Michigan City. The effort will spotlight computer coding and related technologies that are fostering a “maker” culture of innovation in the region.
Michigan City Area Schools, in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City (EDCMC), will host the community-wide Week of Code May 4 – 11. Additional sponsors and partners include Safe Harbor, the Unity Foundation of LaPorte County, the Michigan City Mainstreet Association, the LaPorte County Public Library, the Michigan City Public Library, the Boys and Girls Club of Michigan City, Coder Dojo of LaPorte County, and the Arconic Foundation.
At the most basic level, “code” is a set of written instructions a human gives a machine, telling it what to do. Computer coding makes it possible to create software, websites, apps, and games, but almost anything that runs on electricity uses code. Coding is a skill desired across multiple job sectors, with demand for coding competency projected to rise in the coming years.
“With technology making its way into all aspects of the world of work, coding is becoming an essential skill. The Week of Code is building excitement and awareness among our current and future workforce,” said Clarence Hulse, EDCMC Executive Director.
Throughout the Week of Code, MCAS students at all schools, kindergarten through high school, will be engaged in a variety of age-appropriate coding activities. Two special events are also planned to kick off the Week of Code across the community:
- On Friday, May 4, from 5:00 – 8:00pm, Michigan City Area Schools will partner with the Michigan City Mainstreet Association to present “Shop and Learn,” the kickoff to MCMA’s First Friday Art Walk Summer Series and the Week of Code. From 11th Street to Lake Michigan, Michigan City’s Uptown Arts District shops will feature student innovators, coders, and engineers demonstrating a variety of hands-on tech activities. The State Champion Safe Harbor Robotics Team will showcase their award-winning robot, and patrons who visit all participating stores can win prizes.
- On Saturday, May 5, Michigan City High School (8466 W. Pahs Road) will host a “Maker Fest” from 8:30am – 1:30pm. This event will feature demos, seminars, and hands-on “maker” activities involving Ozobots, Raspberry Pi’s, coding, Internet safety, 3D printing, Vex and Lego Robotics, Paper Circuits, Bitsbox, Indiana Computer Science Standards, and more. The event is designed for teachers, parents, students, and community members. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is requested at http://educateMC.net/code.
The 2018 “Week of Code” supplements coding units and activities already under way at MCAS schools and in after-school programs districtwide. “Next year, the State of Indiana will include computer science questions on the iLearn standardized test, starting at the elementary level. It’s crucial that students of all ages are exposed to concepts and technologies that will prepare them for success now and in future careers,” said MCAS Superintendent Dr. Barbara Eason-Watkins.
For more information, please visit http://educateMC.net/code or contact the Michigan City Area Schools Technology Department at (219) 873-1211, ext. 8327.
Indiana Department of Education Announces Recipients of First-Ever K-6 STEM Acceleration Grants
Friday, The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced the recipients of the State’s first-ever K-6 Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Acceleration Grants. The awards will be used for important research efforts to provide Indiana leaders with evidence of impact from STEM activities happening in classrooms across the state. Grant funds are to be used for research, surveys, and related staff support initiatives. These activities will develop recommendations to improve elementary and secondary student achievement and participation in STEM subjects throughout Indiana. Additionally, this will improve coordination among the various STEM programs. Through this opportunity, IDOE will enhance student success by accelerating exposure to and learning in the STEM disciplines for grades K-12. IDOE will provide STEM support activities during the 2018-2019 school year to help schools who have an interest in accelerating, scaling, or starting school activities based in STEM. 11 schools are receiving Indiana’s first-ever grant of this nature including School City of Mishawaka. To learn more about IDOE efforts to increase STEM education across the state, please visit: www.doe.in.gov .
LaPorte County Student Wins AIC Essay Contest
The Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) and Bliss McKnight, Inc. have named a local fourth grader as the National County Government Week essay contest winner for the AIC’s Northwest District. Madeleine McCarther’s essay was chosen over entries from other fourth graders across the district. McCarther, a student at Saint Stanislaus School, received $100 for winning the contest. One winner was chosen in each of the AIC’s six districts from among several hundred submitted from across the state. This year’s theme was ‘Keeping Indiana Safe: County Law Enforcement.’ Essays were judged on how well students discussed the county’s role in local law enforcement. McCarther was awarded the prize last month during the AIC Northwest District Meeting in Marshall County. The meeting also included a synopsis of the 2018 Indiana General Assembly by AIC legislative staff.
South Shore Reminder from WIMS
Today through Friday and April 30th-May 4th, the South Shore Line will temporarily be busing weekday (Mon-Fri) passengers between Carroll Ave. and the South Bend International Airport while crews upgrade sections of track and overhead wire. During these periods, there will be no train service to or from Hudson Lake, and Trains 401, 422 and 424 between South Bend and Carroll Ave. will be canceled. NOTE: No bikes will be transported via bus for Trains 6 and 11. Train service between Carroll Ave. and Chicago will not be impacted.
March Indiana Employment Report
Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.2 percent for March and remains lower than the national rate of 4.1 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 7,513 over the previous month. This was a result of 2,077 unemployed residents no longer seeking employment within the past four weeks, and a 9,590 increase in residents employed. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.32 million, and the state’s 63.8 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 62.9 percent. In addition, Indiana’s initial unemployment insurance claims continue to be at historical lows. Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated at hoosierdata.in.gov and click on “infographics”.
Annual Report Ranks Indiana’s Economic Outlook Among the Best
An annual report from the Virginia-based American Legislative Exchange Council Center for State Fiscal Reform ranks Indiana’s economic outlook among the best in the country. The Rich States, Poor States index ranks states based on 15 variables, such as highest marginal personal income tax rate, property tax burden and worker’s compensation costs. The report focuses on the economic competitiveness of states. Indiana ranks third on the list, behind only Utah and Idaho. The report also looks back to measure states’ performances to-date with its economic performance ranking. Indiana comes in at number 30 in this year’s list, including cumulative GDP growth (2006-2016), cumulative domestic migration (2007-2016) and non-farm employment growth (2006-2016). You can learn more about the Rich States, Poor States ranking by visiting: www.richstatespoorstates.org/states/IN/
Roll Over Crash on 80/94 in Lake Station
A roll over crash late Wednesday night sent the driver and passenger to the hospital. Preliminary investigation by Trooper John Landowski revealed that a 2013 Chevrolet Malibu, driven by 20 year old Jordyn Windsor of Portage, IN was westbound on I-80/94 in the left middle lane just east of Lake Station exit when she began to change lanes. Windsor lost control of the Malibu, going northwest across all west bound lanes, went off the roadway into the grass, rolled over and came to rest in the ditch on its roof facing northwest. Windsor and her passenger, 21 year old Tiera Steele of Gary were both taken to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Hobart with non-life threatening injuries. The Malibu had $15,000 worth of damage.
Young Highlights Benefits of Career and Technical Education for Hoosier Veterans
On Thursday, U.S. Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) spoke at a briefing hosted by the U.S. Senate Career and Technical Education (CTE) Caucus focused on the benefits of CTE for veterans. Senator Young, a co-chair of the Senate CTE Caucus, highlighted how veterans transitioning into the workforce face many challenges, especially with applying the skills learned in military service to civilian jobs. Career and technical education offers veterans a chance to capitalize on their skills by obtaining a credential, whether that be a certificate, associate’s degree, or other type of degree.
“Career and technical education programs help ensure every Hoosier has access to a quality education and a good job – a key component of my Fair Shot Agenda. I believe it is critical to harness the potential of our veterans to improve their lives and their families’ lives, while at the same time investing in the needs of our workforce,” said Senator Young.
The briefing follows Senator Young’s recent Fair Shot Agenda roundtable in Hammond, Indiana focused on the importance of career and technical education. Senator Young alsocosponsored a resolution recognizing February as CTE month which passed the Senate unanimously, and he is currently working on legislation to encourage states and licensing boards to address burdens associated with occupational licensing for military spouses and separating service members.
Absentee Voting Continues
The LaPorte County Election Board announced that Absentee Voting is now taking place at the Courthouse in La Porte and the Courthouse in Michigan City. The hours for Absentee Voting are as follows: Monday through Friday: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm; Saturday April 28th and Saturday May 5th: 8:00 am to 3:00 pm and Monday May 9th: 8:00 am to 12 noon.
Governor Holcomb Appoints 13 People to Workforce Cabinet
Gov. Eric J. Holcomb announced 13 appointments to the state’s Governor’s Workforce Cabinet, a new group created during the 2018 legislative session to assess and realign Indiana’s workforce development programs and services. This includes Mark Kara (Hobart), assistant to the coordinator for Local 150 Operating Engineers and Jená Bellezza (Crown Point), vice president of strategic partnerships and branding for the Indiana Parenting Institute. In addition to assessing and aligning the state’s workforce programs and services, the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet will also develop the state’s first career coaching and navigation program and assess career and technical education outcomes. Other cabinet members outlined in state statute include: Secretary of Career Connections and Talent Blair Milo. The cabinet will meet every other month. Meeting dates have yet to be determined.
Mother’s Day Painting Class at Barker Mansion
Michigan City’s elegant Barker Mansion gardens will be the setting for a Mother’s Day painting class on Saturday, May 12. Artist Esther Lundmark of Lundmark Studios will facilitate the class. No experience is necessary; Lundmark will guide students step-by-step as they complete a painting featuring a teacup. Two sessions will be held, 10 am and 2 pm Central Time, and space is very limited. Cost is $35 per youth and $45 per adult, ages 18+. Minimum age requirement is eight years old. Cookies, lemonade, and Barker Mansion-blend tea will be served during the event. Tickets can be purchased on Eventbrite or by calling the mansion at (219) 873-1520 ext. 5.
Salmon Spread Recall
Superior Foods Company located in Kentwood, Michigan is voluntarily recalling a specific lot of Smoked Salmon Spreads (487 lbs.) that were produced on March 26, 2018. This voluntary action is being undertaken in cooperation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Listeria monocytogenes was identified through routine inspection and testing by MDARD. The products in question could potentially be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, pregnant women and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms such as high fever, severe headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause miscarriages, stillbirths and fatal infection in pregnant women. People experiencing these problems should seek immediate medical attention. Products covered by this voluntary recall were distributed in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and Minnesota, and include only those products listed below, currently in distribution and for sale. Products were sold in retail grocery stores and some food service businesses. Specific product names and further product information is listed below. No other Superior Foods Company retail or food service-branded products are impacted by this voluntary recall.
The following products are included in this product recall:
Smoked Salmon Spread – 5 lb. bulk units – Code Number: 68487 – Sell by Date: 4/25/18 – Lot Number 0728-2 UPC #043823684873
Simply Superior Smoked Salmon Spread – 6X5 oz units – Code Number: 92379 – Sell by Date: 4/25/18 – Lot Number 0728-2 UPC #043823923798
Morey’s Smoked Salmon Spread – 6×6 oz units – Code Number: 92503 – Sell by Date: 4/25/2018 – Lot Number 0728-2 UPC #043823925037
Superior Foods Company is working with our customers to remove the products from store shelves and distribution. Consumers who have purchased these items are advised to discard them or return them to the store where originally purchased for a full credit. Consumers with questions may contact Scott Ruth at 616-698-7700. Superior Foods Company will be contacting our customers that have received this specific lot code that are impacted by this recall.
Flags at Half-Staff for Barbara Bush
Governor Eric Holcomb is directing flags across the state to be flown at half-staff to honor former First Lady Barbara Bush. Flags should be flown at half-staff from now until sunset on the day of her burial, Saturday. Gov. Holcomb also asks businesses and residents across the state to lower their flags to half-staff to honor her.
Northeast Indiana Collaboration Launches Today’s Drugs Video Series
The Lutheran Foundation , through their mental health initiative, LookUpIndiana.org (LookUp), has partnered with members of the Regional Mental Health Coalition of Northeast Indiana to produce a video series titled “Today’s Drugs”. The objective of the video series is to educate the community on the dangers of today’s drugs. Drug poisoning deaths have increased dramatically over the last 5 years. While the most dramatic increase in deaths has involved opioids, there have also been increases in deaths involving cocaine, methamphetamine, synthetic drugs, and marijuana. This is due in part to drugs being much more potent than in the past. InThere are currently 11 videos in the series with information on opioid addiction, including medication assisted treatment and recovery, which can be found by visiting the opioid page on lookupindiana.org . Other drugs such as Spice, Methamphetamine (Meth) and Synthetic Drugs can be found by visiting the Synthetic Drugs topic page on LookUp.org. To view the whole series, visit the LookUp YouTube channel. addition, many drugs are now mixed with other drugs, resulting in deadly mixtures.
Purdue University Northwest announces executive director of Global Engagement
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is pleased to announce the appointment of George F. Kacenga, Ph.D. as its first executive director of Global Engagement effective July 1, 2018.
“After a nationwide search among a field of strong candidates, we are excited to have Dr. Kacenga, with his background and expertise, leading our strategic efforts to extend Purdue Northwest’s global programs and initiatives,” said PNW Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost Ralph O. Mueller.
Kacenga most recently served as director of International Enrollment Management in the Office of International Affairs (OIA) at the University of Colorado Denver. During his tenure, he impacted the international student experience from student recruitment through alumni engagement.
“I am truly honored to be joining Purdue University Northwest as its first executive director of Global Engagement,” said Kacenga. “I look forward to working with the administration, faculty, staff and students to champion the value of international higher education within the university community, and beyond.”
Kacenga’s career spans two decades and has garnered national and international recognition. He is the current president-elect of the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) and serves on the Leadership Development Committee of NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He chairs The Associations for International Credential Evaluation Professionals (TAICEP) committee for Organizational Advancement and serves on the campaign steering committee for the Fund for Education Abroad. Dr. Kacenga is also an award winning scholar and administrator, having received the Sepmeyer Research Grant, Marjorie Peace Lenn Research Award, and Fulbright Korea Administrator Award.
Kacenga earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and a doctorate in social and comparative analysis in education from the University of Pittsburgh.
Michigan City High School Students Create Mural at Barker Mansion
Michigan City High School art students recently created a mural in Barker Mansion’s lower level. The artwork features a Haskell and Barker Car Company logo from the 1800’s, which was found on letterhead in the mansion’s archives. Students completing the mural were senior Kara Davis, and sophomores Alexis Reynolds and Armani Torrance-Worlds. Art instructors Deanna Ehrhardt and Sue Cleveland supervised the project.
“Painting at Barker Mansion was a very positive experience. The employees were very friendly which made the atmosphere welcoming, and I was also fortunate to be able to roam the historical halls at the mansion,” said Reynolds, who also volunteers at the mansion on weekends.
The mural is a focal point within the newly created exhibit space at the mansion. Both Davis and Torrance-Worlds expressed how much they appreciated marking a mark on history within the mansion’s walls. The exhibit project in its entirety is slated for completion in early summer. A grand opening reception will be announced at a later date.
The Barker Mansion is located at 631 Washington Street in Michigan City. Visit www.barkermansion.com for details.
Operation Stop Scams Continues in Indiana
Operation Stop Scams continues in Indiana and across the nation this week. It’s sponsored by A-A-R-P and features a month-long series of events in communities coast-to-coast to fight fraud. They include paper-shredding opportunities and fraud-education programs. Jason Tomcsi with A-A-R-P Indiana says scammers are always on the prowl, but there are certain times of the year, such as around tax time, that they really step up their game. Free paper-shredding events are being held this week in Evansville, Central Indiana and Fort Wayne.
Tree Giveaways in Celebration of Arbor Day
NIPSCO is offering a limited number of free trees to NIPSCO electric customers through Energy-Saving Trees, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting. Participants will receive the trees at an ideal time for planting along with information on how to plant them in the most strategic location near their homes or businesses. NIPSCO electric customers can reserve their trees at www.arborday.org/nipsco . Requests will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. Before starting any digging projects, NIPSCO reminds customers to always remember to call 811, the free national safe digging hotline, to have their underground utility lines marked. Online requests can be made at www.811now.com .
MCPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The Michigan City Police Department is requesting the public’s assistance in locating Travis Germain. Mr. Germain has an active warrant through the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department for one count of Robbery Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury , Battery, Possession of Legend Drug Without a Prescription, and Theft. Please contact the Michigan City Police Department at (219) 874-3221 Ext. 1000 if Mr. Germain is located.
LA PORTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND LA PORTE COUNTY DUI TASK FORCE TO INCREASE PATROLS DURING UPCOMING PROM SEASON
The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office and the La Porte County DUI Task Force are announcing that it will be increasing enforcement and patrols around prom and post-prom sites this spring. The goal is to deter alcohol use and eliminate alcohol related crashes among La Porte County high school prom attendees.
Proms in La Porte County will begin Saturday, April 21st and conclude May 18th. Between these dates, South Central, Westville, La Crosse, New Prairie, Michigan City, La Porte, Marquette and La Lumiere will all conduct proms. The Sheriff’s Office and DUI Task Force will saturate the areas around each prom and post-prom site in an effort to deter potential alcohol and drug use. The Sheriff’s Office maintains a zero tolerance towards the consumption and possession of alcoholic beverages by minors. Those others who provide alcohol to minors will be targeted and jailed as well.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that the Centers for Disease Control say that teens are more likely than anyone else to be killed in an alcohol-related crash. In 2016, almost one out of five teenage drivers involved in fatal crashes had consumed alcohol. Data shows that 16 percent of 15 to 18 year old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2016 had consumed alcohol. NHTSA also reports that in 2016, 818 teen (15 to 18 year old) drivers and 569 passengers died in vehicles being driven by teen drivers. Of those passengers, 58 percent were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the fatal crash.
“Prom is the most dangerous night of the year for teenagers”, states La Porte County Sheriff John T. Boyd. “It is not only a dangerous time for teenagers but also a dangerous time for anyone who is driving. Our goal is to make the season safe, enjoyable and memorable for all.”
The Sheriff’s Office and La Porte County DUI Task Force have several suggestions for parents that may help their child remain safe at their prom:
Parents should take an inventory of alcohol in their home and secure it if necessary.
Parents should not rent hotel rooms for prom-goers.
Parents should make a pact with their children to provide a safe ride.
Parents should ensure that their children take their cellular telephone with them and require them to check in throughout the evening.
Parents should discuss their children’s plans in advance of the prom so the exact plans are known ahead of time.
Prom-goers should have an agenda and their parents should require them to adhere to it.
Parents should know their child’s date before the prom and with whom they will be attending, if double-dating.
Parents should exchange telephone numbers with the parents of their child’s date.
Parents should consider hosting an alcohol-free post prom party in which their child’s friends are welcome to spend the night.
Parents need to understand that alcohol is a drug, is not acceptable and illegal for those under the age of 21.
Parents should stay up for their children’s return home and advise them they will be waiting.
Sheriff Boyd added, “We are pleased that for fifteen (15) consecutive years no La Porte County prom attendee has been injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash and our goal remains the same. Our increased enforcement efforts will be an indication that we want La Porte County youth to be safe and to enjoy their prom. We wish for prom-goers to create pleasant and cherished memories; not memories of tragedy.”
Teams from West Lafayette, Carmel, and Michigan City, Indiana Win State Championship Robotics Competition
After two grueling days of competing robots, robotics team 1747 – Harrison Boiler Robotics from West Lafayette, robotics team 868 – TechHOUNDS from Carmel, and robotics team 3936 – RoboBlitz from Michigan City have emerged as champions from the IndianaFIRST State Championship. In order to win, these teams were required to face 31 other teams from across Indiana in a series of qualification matches. The outstanding performance from robotics team 1747 – Harrison Boiler Robotics from West Lafayette Indiana put them as captain of the number one seeded alliance. This allowed them to pick team 868 – TechHOUNDS from Carmel, and team 3936 – RoboBlitz from Michigan City as alliance partners.
This was the final Indiana event. Teams going to the world championship is now set. There are now 12 teams from Indiana that will be going to the world championship.
Michigan City Chamber Music Festival
The Michigan City Chamber Music Festival (MCCMF) will present a concert on Sunday, May 6, 3:00 p.m., 1st Presbyterian Church, Michigan City, IN. The program is titled “Viola Virtuosity,” and features two of the world’s finest viola players; Rudolf Haken and Istvan Szabo. Admission to the concert is free, and a “meet the artists” reception immediately follows the performance. Works by W.A. Mozart and Boris Zeidman will be featured. The event is free and open to the public. For more information go to mccmf.com.