New traffic shift taking effect on U.S 231
The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) is alerting motorists to an upcoming traffic shift on U.S. 231. On or around Tuesday, November 21, traffic on U.S. 231 at the I-65 overhead bridge will shift into its winter configuration. While the road will remain one lane in each direction at the I-65 interchange through the winter, eastbound traffic will shift back onto the east side of the road. A median will divide the two lanes of traffic and the elimination of bi-directional westbound traffic will allow for safer travel during winter weather conditions. Motorists may continue to experience delays and should allow extra time for trips through this area. Drivers are urged to pay close attention to the flaggers and signs in the work zone, obey the posted 45 MPH speed limit and be on the alert for workers and equipment.
Tips for cooking this Holiday season
Thanksgiving is the leading day for home cooking fires, and many home fires and related injuries are caused by unattended cooking. During the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security and the State Fire Marshal are reminding citizens to remain attentive in the kitchen.
“Home cooking during the holiday season can be a major concern if important fire safety practices aren’t followed,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal Jim Greeson. “Every holiday season, cooking is a leading cause of home structure fires. It is important for Hoosiers to talk to their families about fire safety and what to do in the event of a fire in their home.”
The following are some important safety tips that are applicable year-round, but are especially important during the holiday season.
· Stay in the kitchen while cooking food. If there is a need to leave the kitchen even for a short period, turn off the stove.
· Regularly check food that is cooking and use a timer to avoid forgetting items.
· Keep any flammable objects such as oven mitts, utensils, food packages and towels away from the stovetop.
· Use the stove’s back burners whenever possible. Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
· Clean up food and grease from burners and stovetops, and be sure that the oven is clean and free from residue.
More than half of non-fatal home cooking fire injuries occur when residents try to fight the fire themselves. Below are tips for addressing kitchen fires.
· Keep an all-purpose fire extinguisher nearby. Never use water to extinguish a grease fire.
· Keep a lid nearby when cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
· In the event of an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.
· If the fire is too large to address safely, evacuate the home and call 911.
When deep-frying a turkey, up to five gallons of oil must be heated before placing the turkey into the device. Tests have shown that some turkey fryers are not sturdy and can easily tip over, allowing hot oil to spill and creating a serious risk of fire or scalding.
When deep-frying a turkey, follow these safety tips:
· Cook outside on a level surface several feet away from any building. Never use turkey fryers on wooden desks, balconies or inside garages.
· Don’t overfill the fryer with oil. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the proper amount of oil to use.
· Make sure the turkey is completely thawed and dry before placing it in the fryer. A partially frozen turkey can cause a fiery reaction.
· Never leave the fryer unattended. Most units do not have thermostat controls and the oil will continue to heat until it catches fire.
· Use well-insulated potholders or oven mitts when touching the pot or lid holders. If possible, wear safety goggles to protect eyes from oil splatter.
· When finished cooking, allow oil to completely cool before disposing.
“The holiday season is also an important time to make sure households have working smoke alarms on all levels of the home, including the basement and outside of every sleeping area,” said Greeson. “Smoke alarms save lives, giving occupants the much needed time to escape in the event of a fire.”
For more information about fire safety in the home, visit GetPrepared.in.gov.
Rolling Prairie man charged following 6 armed robberies
The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, Thomas L. Kirsch II, announced that 27 year old Timothy Bennitt, of Rolling Prairie, Indiana was sentenced before South Bend District Court Judge Jon E. DeGuilio for robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. Bennitt was sentenced to 180 months imprisonment followed by 2 years of supervised release. According to documents in this case, Bennitt committed 6 armed robberies in St. Joseph and LaPorte County restaurants and businesses. During his January 2017 crime spree, Bennitt used a handgun during these armed robberies. In addition, during 4 of the robberies, Bennitt was assisted by co-defendant Nathan Kellogg, who drove and provided the car. Bennitt and Kellogg used the money from the robberies on food, lodging and drugs. Bennitt’s accomplice, Kellogg pled guilty to 4 of the robberies and is scheduled for sentencing November 21st.
Free Natural Childbirth Classes offered at La Porte Hospital
The Natural Childbirth Class offered at La Porte Hospital is now free. Women who would like to experience a water labor and birth, and explore options for delivering without medications, are invited to the class from 6-8 p.m., Nov. 21, at La Porte Hospital. The program is open to mothers and a support person at approximately 32 weeks of pregnancy. All those who attend are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing. Registration is required by calling 219-326-2444.The next class after that is Dec. 19.
The Birthing Center at La Porte Hospital is the newest unit at the hospital, beautifully decorated with hardwood-colored floors and soothing, natural colors. The center features a centralized security monitoring system for infant safety; 10 spacious hotel-like suites for labor, delivery, recovery, and post-partum; private bathrooms and showers; two whirlpool tub suites for water labor and birthing; two family refreshment centers; three medical observations/examination rooms; and foldout couches for a support partner. Complimentary Wi-Fi is always available. Tours are available of the unit by calling 219-326-2373.
Fro Play in Valparaiso robbed
On Wednesday the Valparaiso Police responded to Fro Play Yogurt at 605 McCord Rd for a reported robbery at 3:15pm. Police arrived and learned a male subject wearing a green hooded sweat shirt with a mask over his face entered the store and demanded cash. The subject approached the female employee, while carrying a pipe, and demanded cash from the business.The subject was described as 5’6 and approximately 140 lbs. After obtaining an undetermined amount of cash he fled the store on foot eastbound. No one was injured during the robbery.
Michigan City businesses participating in #GivingBrewsDay in honor of #GivingTuesday
Enjoy locally brewed craft beer, great food – and the arts, Michigan City-style – on #GivingBrewsDay.
On Tuesday, Nov. 28, Shoreline Brewery and the Lubeznik Center for the Arts (LCA) are teaming up to create #GivingBrewsDay, a homegrown, Michigan City way of celebrating #GivingTuesday, the annual global day of giving. A portion of the proceeds from every pairing sold will be donated to the LCA to support the center’s all-ages arts programming and exhibitions. Guests can also make a donation to LCA when they pay their bill. Those unable to make it to Shoreline for #GivingBrewsDay can still donate to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts by going online to lubeznikcenter.org; calling 219-874-4900 during business hours; or via Facebook, @LubeznikCenterfortheArts.
Fatal crash on US 20 in La Porte County being investigated
The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a single vehicle crash that occurred Wednesday afternoon in northeastern La Porte County. Emergency responders were dispatched to US 20 at CR 750 E for the crash just after 3:00 PM ( CST) ( this is approximately one mile west of the town of New Carlisle and very near New Prairie High School ) Kankakee Township firefighters were the first to arrive at the scene and found that the driver of the only vehicle involved was deceased.
The driver was identified as 20-year-old Cody Strauch. Preliminary investigation by Deputy Kristina Wimmer found that a 2000 GMC Yukon was being driven by Cody Strauch was traveling west on US 20 and traveled off of the north side of the roadway and struck a tree in the yard of a residence in the 7400 E block US 20. After impacting the tree the vehicle spun off and into the yard approximately 30′ from the tree. It is not known why the vehicle left the roadway. At the time of the crash the road surface was wet which may have been a factor in the crash. Deputies are also looking into speed being a factor as well.
The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the New Carlisle Police, Indiana Department of Transportation, La Porte County Emergency Medical Service and the Kankakee Township Fire Department. US 20 was closed between the St. Joseph County Line and CR 700 E from the time of the crash until approximately 4:30 PM
Bipartisan legislation passed pertaining sex-abuse towards amateur athletes
The U.S. Senate passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) and Todd Young (R-Ind.), along with others that would require amateur athletics governing bodies to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the Justice Department. The bill would further authorize the United States Center for Safe Sport to ensure that aspiring U.S. Olympic athletes can report allegations of abuse to an independent and non-conflicted entity for investigation and resolution, and to make sure that all amateur athletics governing bodies follow the strictest standards for child abuse prevention and detection.
Indiana Department of Health releases new app to help improve infant and maternal health
The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has launched a new mobile application aimed at improving infant and maternal health in Indiana. The free app, called Liv, made its debut during Wednesday’s Labor of Love infant mortality summit at the downtown Indianapolis Marriott. It features information designed to help women improve their health, whether they are planning to become pregnant, are already pregnant or are parents. Visit www.askliv.com for more information.
Michigan City Police Department releases statement about recent dog attack
In an update regarding the recent Michigan City Dog attack, MCPD released the following statement, “We have discussed this incident involving Officer Scott Combs with the Administration and feel that it will be a much larger impact if we have a small press conference when Morgan Winter and her mother return from Indianapolis. We think that the three of them together speaking will make for a great ending to an almost tragic beginning. Again, myself and I am sure the rest of the department if not the entire city, recognize Officer Combs as a hero”.
Indiana State Police Honor Guard raises $2,300 for Hurricane Harvey relief
The Indiana State Police Honor Guard completed a short fundraiser to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief, supporting the efforts of 11 other State Police Honor Guard teams with over $2300 in contributions. Last week, members of the ISP Honor Guard teamed up with Cabela’s stores in Noblesville and Hammond for five hours at each store, and collectively accepted over $2300 in contributions. The gracious generosity from citizens in the Hoosier State raised more money than any state the cooler had visited to-date.
Roof contracting scams reported in Michigan City
A new scam warning involves “car wrapping”
Another scam is rearing its ugly head on the internet and this one involves “car wrapping”.
This is where someone is offering you money to advertise their services by “wrapping” your vehicle with their log/brand. After responding to their offer they inform you they will send you a check (usually a large sum) then for you to go and get money orders for a certain amount, send that back to them, and you can keep the rest.
How this scam works is you deposit the check and send the designated amount to the scammer. Later, the original check sent to you by the scammers’ bounces, leaving you liable for the ENTIRE amount.
If this was legitimate they wouldn’t ask you to deposit a check and wire money back.
Please be wary of these offers/advertisements, the old adage still rings true, IF IT SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT USUALLY IS!!
Spelling Bee for Teens and Adults at Westchester Public Library
Bleeding emergency training class being held in Valparaiso
On Saturday, December 10th at the MAAC in Valparaiso, community members are invited to participate in a “Stop the Bleed” class. “Stop the Bleed” is a national awareness campaign and a call to action intended to encourage bystanders to become trained, equipped, and empowered to help in a bleeding emergency before professional help arrives. The event will be at The MAAC, 4203 Montdale Park Drive, Valparaiso from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.
Indiana University breaks ground on new athletic facility
Indiana University has officially broken ground on a 3,000-seat multi-use athletics facility. Wilkinson Hall, named in recognition of a $10 million gift from IU alumnus Jay Wilkinson and his family, will be the home venue for the school’s volleyball and wrestling programs. Wilkinson Hall is scheduled to open in September 2018.
South Shore schedule updates for November
The South Shore Line will have extra eastbound departures from Millennium Station, from November 18th through the 26th. These extra trains will not serve Hudson Lake or South Bend. On Saturday, November 18th service will be departing at 8:00 p.m., and Van Buren St. at 8:03 p.m. running non-stop to Hegewisch and making all local stops terminating in Michigan City. If the ticket office is closed please purchase from a ticket vending machine (credit or debit only), the mobile app, or on train (cash only). On November 18-19th, all offices will be closed except South Bend and Millennium Station. For more times and dates over the Thanksgiving holiday visit mysouthshoreline.com and click on news.
Michigan City Subway robbed on Monday morning
Update regarding dog attack in Michigan City
In a Monday update regarding last Friday’s Dunewood Trailerpark dog attack in the Michigan City area, 12 year old Morgan Winter, is still confined at Riley’s Children’s hospital in Indianapolis. She suffered extensive wounds however it appears that after three surgeries and one additional this week she will recover gaining full use of her arm. According to her mother, Ruth Hall, Morgan has a long road ahead of her but is in good spirits as she just had vascular surgery Monday. Ms. Hall states every part of Morgan’s body was bitten except for her left leg and face. According to Animal Control Officer Jason Speakman, no decision has been made on the fate of the dog however it is still quarantined. Detective Sergeant Ken Havlin has been assigned the criminal portion of the case and will send it to the prosecutor’s office for review. Ms. Hall cannot thank Officer Combs enough as she feels that he and the other two assisting neighbors saved her daughter’s life.
Michigan City Plan Commission meeting canceled
The November 28th regular meeting of the Michigan City Plan Commission has been canceled. No petitions were filed and there is no other business before the Commission at this time. Due to City Hall being closed on December 26th for the holidays, the next regular meeting has been rescheduled for December 19, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. local time, in the Emergency Operation Center (EOC) in the lower level of City Hall.
La Porte Family YMCA: Ollie’s Story
LaPorte County Sheriffs participating in extra patrols Thanksgiving weekend
Millions of Americans will travel our nation’s highways this Thanksgiving holiday to visit family and friends. With more vehicles on the road, the chances of being involved in a crash increase greatly.
The LaPorte County Sheriffs Office is joining more than 230 local law-enforcement agencies across the state to spot violations to Indiana’s seat belt and impaired driving laws. Through the weekend after Thanksgiving, expect to see an increase in random patrols, saturation patrols and checkpoints. This overtime enforcement is supported with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) funds administered by the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI).
“Why are we advertising this enforcement blitz? To give drivers and their passengers fair warning and to make our roads as safe as possible,” said Captain Mike Kellems. “Our officers live in the communities we serve and will be thankful this holiday if impaired-driving and unbuckled deaths never strike again.”
Man arrested for Probable Cause for Murder in Michigan City
In Michigan City on Sunday just after midnight, officers were dispatched to an upper apartment at the 600 block of Spring Street in reference to a possible Burglary in progress. The Officers were also advised by the dispatch that someone may have been shot. During the investigation the officers secured the apartment and located Brian Turner on the floor in one of the bedrooms. Mr. Turner had been shot and was deceased. The Michigan City Police Department Investigative Division was notified of the situation and responded to conduct an investigation. Throughout the rest of the night and into the day the Detectives interviewed witnesses and collected evidence. It was determined that the initial call of a Burglary in progress was false. Based on information obtained throughout the investigation, Joshua Alfonzo Ratliff was arrested on Probable Cause for Murder pending a Probable Cause hearing. The investigation is still ongoing and anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact Lead Detective Kay Pliske at 219-874-3221 Ext. 1077. All arrested persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Chesterton’s European Market moving outdoor this year
Chesterton’s European Market is dressing up for the holidays. Come on out to 220 Broadway, Chesterton on Saturday, December 2, from 9 am to 3 pm to experience this year’s, Mistletoe Market. This beloved holiday market is moving outside this year, giving the event a more European feel. The Mistletoe Market will feature many of our regular season vendors, from the European Market. There will be mulled wine, and live music along with photo props for the whole family to enjoy. Santa will even be in attendance too! Find that perfect, one of a kind holiday gift and experience a little bit of Europe in your backyard.
For questions about Mistletoe Market, please call the Chamber at (219)243-0452 or email [email protected].
Santa’s Candy Cane Express at the Hesston Steam Museum
Team WIMS will be LIVE from the Hesston Steam Museum for Santa’s Candy Cane Express! Join us on December 2nd from 9am-12pm!
Catch more details on the event, and more dates for the Candy Cane Express by going to http://www.hesston.org/ccx-event
PFLAG Michigan City and LaPorte County Chapter holding meetings the 2nd Tuesday of every month
The third meeting of the newly formed PFLAG (Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) Michigan City and LaPorte County Chapter will be held on Tuesday, November 14th. Everybody who are allies including everyone in the LGBTQA+ community is welcome. Attendees will learn about domestic abuse resources in our area with Executive Director Casaundra Kay Shephard-Hill of Stepping Stone Shelter. The meetings–for those 18 years of age and over—are held the second Tuesday of each month and will always include advocacy, education, and support. The meetings will be held at PARC Community Center, 1713 Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN. For more information contact: (219) 561-0948 or [email protected].
Senator Donnelly announces support for The Veterans Overmedication Prevention Act
U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly announced his support for bipartisan legislation that aims to help protect against the over medication of our nation’s veterans and prevent veteran suicide. The Veterans Overmedication Prevention Act, introduced by the Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Senator John McCain (R-AZ), would commission an independent review of the deaths of veterans who died by suicide or drug overdose over the last five years while receiving care through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and an assessment of the role that prescription medications may have played.
Indiana State Troopers participate in fun run to raise money for the Bolt for the Heart organization
On Friday, several Indiana State Troopers from the Lowell Post, a retired trooper and a local deputy prosecutor braved the elements and participated in a fun run at the Indiana Dunes State Park to help raise money for the Bolt for the Heart non-profit organization. Since partnering with the Indiana State Police, Bolt for the Heart has purchased more than 200 AED units. As a goal for 2017, Bolt for the Heart wants to raise $300,000, which would purchase 250 additional AED’s to be deployed with troopers statewide.
Solar proponents warning jobs will be lost if import fee is imposed
Solar proponents are warning jobs will be lost and the industry will see a major setback if President Donald Trump imposes an import fee on solar panels. The U-S International Trade Commission is scheduled to send its recommendation to the President on Monday for a 35-percent tax on solar panels imported from other countries. There’s no question that low-price imports from China have undercut the ability of some U-S manufacturers to compete. But Garrett Garner-Wells with Colorado’s Environment Research and Policy Center says the tariff would make renewable-energy options less affordable for consumers. Several companies across the nation have said they’ve put solar projects on indefinite hold or even eliminated them, awaiting the President’s decision on tariffs. It is expected in the next 60 days. As the Trump administration works to revive the coal industry, it has blasted renewable energy as expensive and dependent on government subsidies. Garner-Wells says the group Environment America has identified 20 fossil-fuel-backed groups and electric utilities running campaigns to slow the growth of solar energy, because increased profit for one industry eventually means lower profits for another. American manufacturers of solar equipment may have suffered from cheap imports, but Garner-Wells notes those imports have also created thousands of jobs for retailers and installation contractors. It’s estimated that tariffs could increase the cost of a residential solar system by two-thousand dollars, and he predicts the anti-solar forces won’t be giving up soon. The solar industry in the U-S employs about 260-thousand people. One estimate is that a 35-percent tariff would shed about 88-thousand of those jobs.
The Dunes Woman’s Club holding 60th annual “Sharing the Joy” Marketplace
The Dunes Woman’s Club will hold its 60th annual “Sharing the Joy” Marketplace at the Beverly Shores Community House on Service Ave. in Beverly Shores, IN (the house is located behind the Town Administration Building on Broadway). Everyone is welcome to celebrate the magic and wonder of the season. Marketplace will feature unique holiday gifts, decorations, Vintage Jewelry, Homemade sweets & soups & main dishes. Holiday Greens Sale, with fresh wreaths, garlands, centerpieces and swags. Participate in a drawing with 4 great prizes. Holiday Basket of Wine/ Snacks, a Handmade Quilt, in the pattern “Swoon”, a Child’s Rocker, a Furoshiki Bag. The event will be held on Saturday, November 18, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday, November 19, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.