American Legion Department of Indiana Condemns War Memorial Damage

Posted on: May 31st, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

 Last night and this morning, Indianapolis saw another night of unrest in the city. Damage was received to some of our state’s war memorials and monuments. Veterans, especially combat veterans, understand and appall violence as American service members have fought for years to bring down tyranny and maintain our freedoms. We are united as Americans, and will get through this together. But peace must prevail. As many have said, fire met with more fire, only burns everything to the ground. The American Legion Department of Indiana supports America’s right to peaceful protests, however we denounce the violence and rioting that is damaging our communities and bringing more death. We pray for the safety of our police officers and National Guard who are protecting our communities, and pray that those who are peacefully protesting may be heard and not overshadowed by the violence, so that meaningful change for all people who call Indiana their home, may occur. The American Legion is comprised of more than 77,000 military service veterans who have served honorably during times of conflict in defense of their nation and has been active within Indiana since 1919. The Indiana American Legion has represented veterans from every major conflict since World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan within its membership. 

Outpatient Covid-19 Testing Site Moves To Franciscan Health Michigan City Hospital

Posted on: May 30th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Drive-through pre-surgical and outpatient COVID testing have moved from Franciscan Health’s Homer Street campus to the Franciscan Health Michigan City hospital located at 3500 Franciscan Way. Drive-through testing is taking place at the COVID testing trailer, located in the east parking lot closest to the medical office building (Door B). Hours of operation will be 7AM to noon, seven days a week. Patients must have an order from a Franciscan physician or closely aligned physician with hospital privileges. Pre-registration is required by calling (219) 877-1474.

Patients must bring their photo identification to the testing site. Testing at the Michigan City site is limited to residents of LaPorte, Porter and Berrien counties. COVID-19 testing for LaPorte County residents is also available at Michigan City High School.

That testing is being contracted through the Indiana State Department of Health.

Pre-registration is required by going online at lhi.care/covidtesting.

Transporte’s free rides extended through June

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

 La Porte residents can continue riding with Transporte for free through the month of June, according to Manager Beth West.

The transportation service began its essential-only free rides following the governor’s “stay-at-home” order. Until now, essential rides included trips to the grocery store, pharmacy and doctors’ offices only. West said beginning June 1, they will now provide transportation to laundromats and the library as well.

“Though we must still restrict our rides to essential travel only, we are happy to add a few more essential stops to the list for our passengers,” West said. “As the outbreak continues, we are strongly encouraging everyone to wear masks on the buses and will provide one if needed.”

Transporte’s temporary hours are 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. West said buses will also be running on Election Day, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to help people get to polling places to vote.

All rides must be scheduled through dispatch at 219-362-6565. For more information, contact West at 219-326-8274 or [email protected].

Washington Park Hours Change

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

A MESSAGE FROM MAYOR DUANE PARRY

REGARDING WASHINGTON PARK HOURS

We have one of the most popular stretches of beachfront in Indiana right here in Washington Park. With the warm weather we had this past holiday weekend, we had more visitors than expected. Unfortunately, most did not exercise the required social distancing, jamming nearly elbow-to-elbow on the beach and in the main parking lot throughout the day and into the night.

The congestion associated with the large crowds and higher than normal temperatures created conditions right for several disturbances, fights, and a shooting on Saturday evening.  Michigan City maintains beach area patrols each weekend and on Holidays by Police Officers and during the week with our Fire Fighters. However, without cooperation from the public, maintaining a safe Washington Park is difficult.

Based on the threat to public safety in Washington Park, created by the conduct of the public last weekend, Mayor Parry has ordered the police to immediately begin to close Washington Park every evening at 9:00 p.m. Also, Michigan City Police will disperse any large congregation of persons in and around Washington Park.

Once responsible safe behavior is again exhibited in Washington Park, the hours at our park and lakefront will be extended.

La Porte County Fair cancelled for 2020

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

After careful thought and deliberation, the La Porte County Agricultural Association (the “Board”) has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 LaPorte County Fair originally scheduled for July 12 – July 18.
“For the last 174 years, the La Porte County Fair has been held without hesitation and the Board is extremely proud of that,” said Steve Mrozinski, Board President. “However, our priority is the safety of all of those involved in making our Fair great. After reviewing federal, state, and local guidelines, and knowing how quickly and easily the Covid-19 virus spreads in large groups of people, the Board did not feel it would be possible nor prudent to have the Fair at this time. This is due in large part to the uncertainty around planning for large gatherings and ensuring proper implementation of Covid-19 safety protocols.”


“Although an extremely difficult decision, the Board decided that cancelling this year’s Fair was in the best interests of all those involved,” said Don Stoner, Fair Manager. “However, this will allow us to focus our efforts on 2021 and what will still be the 175th year of the La Porte County Fair. The Fair Board will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that the 175th Fair will be one of the best.”


Those that have already purchased tickets for the Fair or any musical acts, including for Toby Keith, will
receive a separate communication from the Fair office in the coming weeks as to how those tickets will be
handled. Any questions regarding 4-H should be directed to the Purdue Extension’s La Porte Office at
(219) 324-9407.

A Statement on the Death of George Floyd from the Michigan City Police Department

Posted on: May 29th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments


While the Michigan City Police Department would normally refrain from commenting on the actions of another jurisdiction, there are times when it is necessary to comment on tragedies that affect us all. Due to the current situation in Minneapolis, Chief Campbell, on behalf of the Michigan City Police Department, wished to issue the following statement:


The Michigan City Police Department strongly denounces the actions that resulted in the death of Mr. George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Words can’t fully express the emotions of grief and anger we all are feeling over this senseless tragedy. There is no excuse for what took place. Our hearts go out to thefamily of Mr. Floyd.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are committed to building a strong culturethat reflects the value of human life while providing safety and security for all citizens. Our Department is
committed to listening to our citizens, educating the public on police policies, and operating in transparency in order to build trust and good will with those that we serve

Lane closures scheduled for S.R. 912 ramp to I-80/94

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Indiana Department of Transpiration announces the beginning of a bridge preventative maintenance

 project on the State Road 912 ramp to eastbound and westbound I-80/94. This project will begin on or after Thursday, June 4.

During phase one of the project, the southbound Cline Avenue/State Road 912 ramp to eastbound and westbound I-80/94

will be reduced to one lane. The right lane and shoulder will be closed for work. The project is expected to be completed in August, 2020.

INDOT urges drivers to stay alert near crews and follow traffic directions carefully. Drivers are encouraged to

allow extra time when driving through this area. Drivers should slow down, use extra caution and drive distraction-free through all work zones.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATES STATEWIDE COVID-19 CASE COUNTS

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 646 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with

COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

and private laboratories. That brings to 33,068 the total number of Indiana residents known

 to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

A total of 1,907 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 37 over the previous day

 following a correction to the previous day’s total. Another 161probable deaths have been reported based

on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record

Hoosiers who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed and need a test to

return to work are encouraged to visit a state-sponsored testing site for free testing. Individuals without symptoms

who are at high risk because they are over age 65, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another

underlying condition, as well as those who are pregnant, live with a high-risk individual or are a member of a minority

population that is at greater risk for severe illness, also are encouraged to get tested

MOTORCYCLE CRASH INVESTIGATION

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

             

This morning (05/28/20) at approximately 3:17 AM, deputies were dispatched to the 7800 west block of State Road 2, rural New Durham township, in reference to an unresponsive male subject lying along the roadway.  At approximately 3:21 AM, Deputy Austin Howell arrived and located the subject.  Soon thereafter, a crash scene was discovered nearby.          

The crash investigation determined that a blue 2002 Harley-Davidson motorcycle had been traveling east on SR 2.  The motorcycle failed to negotiate the curve, left the eastbound lane of SR 2, drove off roadway and overturned/rolled over in the lawn of a nearby residence.    

The subject who had been initially located was determined to be the driver (lone occupant).  He was identified as William J. HOGGARD (39 YOA) of Cedar Lake.  HOGGARD sustained a lower body injury and as a result was airlifted to a regional area hospital for treatment. 

Alcohol was determined to be a contributing factor in the crash.  Toxicology tests results are pending.        

Assisting:  Sergeant James D. Arnold, Deputy Dan Kesling, Lutheran Air, La Porte County EMS, Scipio and Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Departments

Arrests and criminal charges are mere accusations.  Every person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Traffic Stop Produces Wanted Fugitive In Possession Of A Firearm

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 23 year old Lanard D. Edwards of Michigan City.

Wednesday at around 12:30 AM, Captain Andrew Hynek observed a passenger vehicle stopped on Grand Beach Road east of El Portal Drive. As Captain Hynek neared the vehicle, he noted it was now traveling west on Grand Beach Road towards him. He observed the vehicle disregard the stop sign on Grand Beach Road at El Portal Drive. Captain Hynek initiated a traffic stop near the intersection of Michiana Drive and Grand Beach Drive.

The driver of the vehicle was identified as Edwards. As the traffic stop progressed, a Taurus 9mm handgun with a loaded magazine was located. A computer check revealed that Edwards does not have a handgun permit and was a wanted person by the LCSO.

Edwards was arrested and transported to the La Porte County Jail (LCJ). He was booked into the LCJ for the charges of:

-Warrant, Battery

-Possession of a Firearm Without a Permit

Porter County Sheriff’s Office Seeking Public’s Assistance In Locating Wanted Subject

Posted on: May 28th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Porter County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in locating 30 year old Aaron M. Metzner. Listed as 5’10” and 135lbs, and “Brown / Brown”.

His last known addresses were in Chesterton, Portage, Valparaiso, and Hobart. He may be in the company of Edward Furlong Jr, Ashley Jones, or Michael Weiss.

Last known to drive an older gray sport utility vehicle with a cracked windshield on the passenger side, possibly a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

He is wanted on the charges of Battery and Theft.

His photos can be found on the Porter County Sheriff’s Office Facebook Page.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATES STATEWIDE COVID-19 CASE COUNTS

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 370 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 32,437 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

Intensive care unit and ventilator capacity remains steady. As of today, more than 41 percent of ICU beds and nearly 82 percent of ventilators are available.

A total of 1,871 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 21 over the previous day. Another 159 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record, following a correction to the previous day’s total. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days.

To date, 235,333 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 230,749 on Tuesday.

Hoosiers who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed and need a test to return to work are encouraged to visit a state-sponsored testing site for free testing. Individuals without symptoms who are at high risk because they are over age 65, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another underlying condition, as well as those who are pregnant, live with a high-risk individual or are a member of a minority population that is at greater risk for severe illness, also are encouraged to get tested.

ISDH will host drive-thru testing clinics from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday of this week at the following locations:

Shelbyville High School

2003 S. Miller Street

Shelbyville, IN 46176

Miller School – Hammond

6530 New Hampshire

Hammond, IN 46323

Ivy Tech Community College – Princeton

2431 S. Crabtree Drive

Princeton, IN 47670

Franklin County 4-H Fairgrounds

7178 Blue Creek

Brookville, IN 

To find additional testing locations, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link. More than 200 locations are available around the state.

Appointment based COVID-19 testing sites and scheduling information for the LaPorte County

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Appointment based COVID-19 testing sites and scheduling information for the LaPorte County community are as follow:


FREE COVID-19 TESTING IS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
Provided by LHI/OptumServe Health Services
Online appointments are available at https://lhi.care/covidtesting
Phone registration is available for those without Internet access at 888-634-1116
Testing Location:
Michigan City High School
8466 W Pahs Rd
Michigan City, IN 46360

LIFEGUARDS AT WASHINGTON PARK

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

To clear up any misunderstanding, the City of Michigan City did advertise on February 6th, for all seasonal positions, including lifeguards. The City received only one application from a returning lifeguard from last year, and no others with required qualifications.

Lifeguarding has always been a high-risk job. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, those who work to protect beachgoers are facing a new level of danger.    

From stubbed toes to cardiac arrests, open water lifeguards are trained to act as first responders for all manner of medical emergencies that can happen at the beach, often putting them in very close proximity to beach goers. When it comes to making water rescues, lifeguards must come in direct physical contact with people who might be spitting up water or gasping for air. This aspect of their job raises new concerns due to the ways that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads.

According to Kathy Workman the Director at the YMCA in Michigan City, states that she has tested dozens of people for certification, and unfortunately, none passed the prerequisite.

Additionally, at this time the American Red Cross is not allowing the “hands on” portion of the testing due to COVID-19, so this put hiring at a standstill.

With all of this information and the fact that the citizens want and desire the beachfront to be opened, we must make the tough decision to swim at your own risk when visiting our beachfront.

La Porte City Hall sees first confirmed coronavirus case

Posted on: May 27th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

A La Porte City Hall employee recently tested positive for COVID-19, according to Mayor Tom Dermody.

“This news is a sobering reminder to all of us that the coronavirus situation is far from over,” Dermody said. “We are keeping this individual in our thoughts and prayers during this time, and we will continue taking every precaution to ensure the safety of our employees and residents as the pandemic maintains its hold in the United States.”

City Hall was closed to all employees on Tuesday to allow for deep cleaning. Though the CDC recommends that only those displaying symptoms be tested, Dermody said employees in both direct and indirect contact with this individual were sent for testing out of an abundance of caution. He said the City will continue to provide quality service as employees work from home.

“We have gone above and beyond what is recommended to help ensure the safety of our employees and believe there is no risk to the public at this time,” Dermody said. “Still, we must make safety a top priority as we continue to monitor the virus. Our team will continue to provide excellent service to residents through phone and email, and we will reopen City Hall when we feel it is safe to do so.”

City Hall has been open exclusively by phone and email since March. To protect both employees and residents, Dermody said City Hall will remain closed to the public until July 5.

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Valparaiso Police Mourn the Loss of Officer

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Valparaiso Police Mourn the Loss of Officer

It is with great sadness; the Valparaiso Police Department announces the loss of Sergeant Steve Kobitz. Sergeant Kobitz end of watch came May 25, 2020,  as a result of cardiac complications.  Sgt. Kobitz was in an on-duty status when he was discovered in distress while in his police vehicle, which was parked in the lot of the Valparaiso Police Department.  Sgt. Kobitz was immediately tended to by his fellow officers when he was discovered, and Valparaiso Fire soon responded and took over treatment.  Sgt. Kobitz would later succumb to his condition while at Porter Regional Hospital.  Sgt. Kobitz began his career in February 1992, honorably serving the City of Valparaiso for over 28 years.  During his tenure, Sgt. Kobitz has served as a Field Training Officer, Accident Reconstructionist, and Canine Officer.  Sgt. Kobitz further mentored many young officers, was well respected by his peers, and will truly be missed by everyone.  Our condolences are extended to his family, friends, fellow officers, and the community he spent half of his life serving.  Final preparations regarding services are still being completed and will be released at a later time. 

Chief Jeffrey Balon would like to add the following:

 “It is with a heavy heart to talk about the unexpected passing of Sergeant Steve Kobitz.  I spent many years working alongside Steve during holidays, weekends and midnights, and I can truly say that Steve was much more than a co-worker; he was a friend and a brother.  The memories that I have working with Steve, along with his hardy laugh and dry sense of humor, will never be forgotten.  Steve will be sorely missed by every member of the Valparaiso Police Department, and my thoughts and prayers go out to Steve’s children and loved ones.” “I would like to thank our community, public officials, and especially our brothers and sisters in the public safety sector, for all their support and condolences during this difficult time.”      

Franciscan ExpressCare rolls out On My Way feature, allowing patients to check wait times online and hold their spot in line

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Franciscan Alliance has added a new feature to the Franciscan MyChart application called On My Way. The On My Way feature allows patients to see wait times and easily reserve their spot in line at all Franciscan ExpressCare locations in Indiana and Illinois.

Saving your place in line is as easy as opening the Franciscan MyChart application on any smart phone or tablet device, clicking on the On My Way icon and answering a few simple questions. Patients without the Franciscan MyChart app can still use On My Way by going through a link on the FranciscanExpressCare.org website. With On My Way, patients can avoid sitting in the waiting room by picking a time online and showing up a few minutes before their scheduled time. Please note, while On My Way speeds up registration and holds your place in line, a walk-in patient with a more urgent medical need may still be seen before you.

“Your time is important, and no one likes to wait. We think our patients will appreciate how easy and convenient On My Way is to use,” said Craig Miller, administrative director of Ambulatory Services for Franciscan Health.

Patients who have not yet set up their Franciscan MyChart account, can go to FranciscanMyChart.org to set up a free account. With the MyChart app, patients can:

·            Schedule/request an in person or virtual appointment

·            View details of past and upcoming appointments

·            Request medication refills

·            Send a message to your doctor

·            View and pay bills

·            See test results

·            Link your children’s or relative’s medical account to yours for convenient access to their medical records

For more information visit FranciscanMyChart.org or call (877) 900-5741. The MyChart Patient Call Center is open daily from 6 AM to 9 PM CST. For more information on Franciscan ExpressCare, go to FranciscanExpressCare.org.

Public assistance sought in shooting at Washington Park

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

On Sunday, May 24th, 2020, at approximately 10:00 P.M., officers from the Michigan City Police Department responded to the area of Washington Park Lot 1, for a report of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located a 17-year-old male subject that was shot during this incident. His injuries were non-lifethreatening, and he was treated and released.

A short time later, officers were dispatched to Franciscan Hospital in reference to a second gunshot victim that was brought to the emergency room. The 25-year-old female victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was also treated and released. Additionally, two vehicles sustained damage as a result of this incident.

Michigan City Police Chief Dion Campbell states “What happened this weekend at Washington Park is unacceptable and threatens the feelings of safety and security that all Michigan City citizens and visitors should enjoy. These actions will not be tolerated, and we will hold accountable all individuals who disrupt the peace we expect as residents. We will be actively engaging the local leaders and canvassing the
neighborhoods to solicit the help of the community to resolve these issues.”

The police department would ask anyone with information related to this incident to contact the lead investigator on this case, Detective Arwen LaMotte at 219-874-3221 Ext: 1081. We would also like to remind the public that you can contact us via Facebook Messenger or through our crime tip hotline number of 219-873-1488. You can always request to remain anonymous.

UPDATE: Suspicious Site And Items Investigated In Hanna Township

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

In Hanna Township, LaPorte County this past Thursday evening, off-duty Sergeant Tony Wallace was alerted to a suspicious site and items that had been found on private property in the 5000 west block of Volk Road. The site and items were discovered by an adult female who resides in the area.

The suspicious site was a hole that was approximately three feet wide, approximately ten feet long and approximately two feet deep. The hole was located just east of the Richman Ditch in a small wooded area. Clothing and a shovel were also located near the hole.

After responding and viewing the aforementioned site and items, Sergeant Wallace immediately contacted detectives from the Criminal Investigations Division. Deputy Jon Samuelson responded and began to assist Sergeant Wallace.

Detectives responded to the site and began to investigate. The site was processed, photographed and the items were collected.

Detectives responded to the site again Friday and continued to investigate. A K-9, trained to conduct search and rescue operations, was brought in to assist. The K-9 did not provide any positive alerts at or around the site and area.

Kennedy Ave ramp Closed Today and Wednesday

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

In Lake County, the ramp from Kennedy Ave southbound to I-80/94 eastbound is closed through Thursday, May 28.

The Kennedy Ave northbound ramp to I-80/94 eastbound will not be impacted.

Drivers should seek an alternate route. If going southbound on Kennedy Ave, drivers can utilize U.S. 20, 169th St, 173rd St or Ridge Rd to get to State Road 912 and then on I-80/94 eastbound from there.

Gov. Holcomb Takes Action to Prepare for Revenue Shortfalls

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

This past Friday, Governor Holcomb announced he has asked the State Budget Agency (SBA) to initiate plans to reduce state agency appropriations by 15 percent for Fiscal Year 2021 because of the sharp drop in state revenues that was reported for April and to prepare for a continued decline in state revenue because of the economic impact of COVID-19.

The SBA already has initiated actions to reduce spending for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Cost savings measures were instituted in April to review operations, space, travel, hiring and many other areas for savings.

In addition to the state agency reversions, Gov. Holcomb said the state would not move forward or put on hold several previously announced projects:

–        Use of $291 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the 2020 legislative session. Bonding authority may be used to move forward with those projects later

–        Approximately $65 million in Next Level Trails grants

–        $110 million of deferred maintenance projects, including $70 million for state parks

April Indiana Employment Report

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 16.9 percent for April and is higher than the national rate of 14.7 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 decrease of 40,450 over the previous month. This was a result of an increase of 446,017 unemployed residents and a decrease of 486,467 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.23 million, and the state’s 61.4 percent labor force participation rate is above the national rate of 60.2 percent.

Driver Charged with Reckless Driving, Passenger Charged with Gun Possession

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments


On Monday morning at approximately 12:30 a.m., Trooper Carlson was stationary on I-80/94 eastbound near the 1.4 mile-marker. A vehicle was observed traveling eastbound at a high rate of speed. Trp. Carlson measured the vehicles speed at 101 mph in a well posted 55 mph zone. The vehicle, a white 2007 Buick sedan, passed Trp. Carlson’s location and immediately applied its brakes and moved over two lanes. Trp. Carlson pulled onto I-80 and caught up to the vehicle near the 2.4 mile-marker. As Trp. Carlson activated his police vehicle’s lights and sirens in an attempt to get the driver to stop, the vehicle slowly drove on the outside shoulder for almost a half mile before abruptly stopping near the 3.0 mile-marker. As Trp. Carlson exited his patrol car and approached the Buick, he observed the vehicle rocking from side to side and the front seat passenger and driver switching positions. The male driver was identified as 28 year old Drakkar Boyd from East Chicago, Indiana. While speaking to the occupants of the vehicle, Trp. Carlson detected the odor of marijuana emitting from the vehicle. A male subject seated in the rear of the vehicle was observed moving around and refused to show his hands when asked to. He was identified as 27 year old Donovan Redding from Merrillville, Indiana. All occupants of the vehicle were told to exit and a vehicle search was conducted. A loaded semi-automatic pistol was located under the seat where Mr. Redding had been sitting along with drug paraphernalia. The handgun was a .45 caliber Springfield XD. Boyd was issued a summons to appear for Reckless Driving, a misdemeanor, and released from the scene. Redding was transported to the Lake County Jail with the following charges being presented to the Lake County Prosecutor: Felon in possession of a handgun (Level 5 Felony); Possession of Paraphernalia (C misdemeanor)

HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATES STATEWIDE COVID-19 CASE COUNTS

Posted on: May 26th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments


The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) announced that 354 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 31,715 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total. A total of 1,832 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 8 over the previous day. Another 152 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record, following a correction to the previous day’s total. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days. To date, 226,251 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 220,801 on Sunday. Hoosiers who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed and need a test to return to work are encouraged to visit a state-sponsored testing site for free testing. Individuals without symptoms who are at high risk because they are over age 65, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another underlying condition, as well as those who are pregnant, live with a high-risk individual or are a member of a minority population that is at greater risk for severe illness, also are encouraged to get tested. To find testing locations around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

DOR Customer Walk-In Centers Reopening for Appointment-Only Service

Posted on: May 24th, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) is now accepting appointments for in-person customer service starting today.

Locally, locations reopening include the district offices in Merrillville and South Bend.

Visit the District Office web page at dor.in.gov/3390.htm for contact information.

When customers arrive for their scheduled appointment, they will need to call the customer service phone number posted on the DOR entrance door to receive further instruction from a customer service representative.

Before making an appointment for an in-person visit, customers are encouraged to contact DOR directly by phone or email. Customers can call the DOR’s individual customer service line at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., EST.

Contact a specific DOR business unit using a list of phone numbers and email addresses available at dor.in.gov/3325.htm.

Visit the Motor Carrier Services page at in.gov/dor/mcs.htm for online services and a list of phone numbers and email addresses.

Email DOR using the online form at dor.in.gov/3392.htm.

Visit DOR’s website at dor.in.gov/4331.htm to take advantage of other online services available.

In accordance with the Indiana State Department of Health’s (ISDH) guidelines, DOR has implemented the following for all appointments:

All DOR locations with in-person customer service will have glass or plastic partitions between the customer and employee.

Hand sanitizer will be available to both employees and customers.

DOR team members will wear masks.

Masks are highly recommended for DOR customers.

(Before arriving for an in-person appointment, customers should perform a self-assessment by answering the following questions:

Have you had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 14 days?

Are you currently ill? Do you have symptoms of a cold, cough or shortness of breath?

Do you currently have a fever or have you had a fever within the past week?

If any customer answers “yes” to any of these questions, he or she should cancel the appointment and contact a healthcare provider.)

Construction Worker Killed on I-94 Crash In Porter County

Posted on: May 23rd, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

Friday morning, in Porter County just before 3 a.m. troopers were dispatched to a crash involving a semi and another truck on I-94 east-bound, near the 23 mile-marker. This is around one mile east of the Burns Harbor/Porter exit ramp. The initial officer on-scene located a male subject, later identified as 38 year old Ryan E. Greer of Knox, lying in the roadway.  A semi was fully engulfed and another truck with orange traffic barrels was located in the south ditch in the trees.  A helicopter was originally contacted but it was cancelled when it was determined that Greer was deceased.

Preliminary investigation shows that a tractor/trailer was east-bound when for unknown reasons it drove onto the right shoulder.  Parked on the right shoulder, with its amber warning lights activated, was a Dodge Ram straight truck. The vehicle was stopped on the shoulder due to the occupants being construction workers and they were actively performing maintenance to the orange construction zone signs along I-94. Greer stepped out of the left side of the truck at approximately the same time it was rear-ended by the semi. This impact resulted in the driver sustaining fatal injuries. The impact caused the Dodge to travel down the right ditch and into the trees.The semi continued east, crossed all lanes of travel and struck the concrete median wall where it burst into flames. The semi driver, a 54 year old from Alberta, Canada, was able to escape injury.  The trailer was loaded with 37,000 lbs. of frozen pork.

Formal charges or citations are pending the outcome of the investigation and will be determined by the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office.

The Indiana State Police would like to stress the importance of slowing down for construction zones and yielding to emergency vehicles when they are stopped on the side of the roadways.  Drive through these construction zones as if your family member or loved one is working.  By driving safely, you will make it to your destination and construction workers will have a safer working environment and most importantly, also be able to go home at the end of their shift.

Man Steals Safe From Michigan City Restaurant, Arrested

Posted on: May 23rd, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

This past Wednesday, around 2:30 a.m., Michigan City Police Department Shift 3 officers were dispatched to Schoop’s Hamburgers, 4105 Franklin Street in reference to an audible business alarm. During this time, a witness in the area called 911 to report a subject running north from the business toward US Hwy 20. Officers located the subject, who attempted to elude police on foot. The subject was subsequently caught and was identified as 27 year old Kyle James Reese, of Rolling Prairie. Officers checked the perimeter of Schoop’s and located no visible signs of forced entry into the building. Later in the morning at approximately 6:15 A.M., Michigan City Police Department Shift 1 officers were called to Schoop’s Hamburgers as employees had arrived for work and observed that the office safe was missing. Shift I Officers checked the area surrounding Schoop’s and located a safe in the landscaping of Starbucks.. The safe was brought back to Schoop’s and employees identified the safe as belonging to them. On Thursday Reese was charged with one count of Burglary. Reese is currently being housed at the La Porte County Jail on a $15,000 cash only bond. Reese’s initial court appearance will be today. The investigation is ongoing and police would ask anyone with information about this incident to contact the lead detective on this case, Lieutenant Kevin Urbanczyk at 219-874-3221 Ext: 1042. You can also contact MCPD via Facebook Messenger or through their crime tip hotline number of 219-873- 1488. You can always request to remain anonymous.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT UPDATES STATEWIDE COVID-19 CASE COUNTS

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) today announced that 493 additional Hoosiers have been diagnosed with COVID-19 through testing at ISDH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and private laboratories. That brings to 30,409 the total number of Indiana residents known to have the novel coronavirus following corrections to the previous day’s total.

Intensive care unit and ventilator capacity remain steady. As of today, nearly 38 percent of ICU beds and more than 81 percent of ventilators were available as of Friday.

A total of 1,791 Hoosiers are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, an increase of 27 over the previous day. Another 150 probable deaths have been reported based on clinical diagnoses in patients for whom no positive test is on record. Deaths are reported based on when data are received by ISDH and occurred over multiple days.

To date, 208,561 tests have been reported to ISDH, up from 202,995 on Thursday.

Marion County had the most new cases, at 122. Other counties with more than 10 new cases were Allen (54), Delaware (10), Elkhart (61), Hamilton (12), Lake (42), Porter (33) and St. Joseph (16). A complete list of cases by county is posted at www.coronavirus.in.gov, which is updated daily at noon. Cases are listed by county of residence.

Hoosiers who have symptoms of COVID-19 and those who have been exposed and need a test to return to work are encouraged to visit a state-sponsored testing site for free testing. Individuals without symptoms who are at high risk because they are over age 65, have diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure or another underlying condition, as well as those who are pregnant, live with a high-risk individual or are a member of a minority population that is at greater risk for severe illness, also are encouraged to get tested.

ISDH is holding drive-thru testing clinics today through Saturday in Brazil, Hammond, Shelbyville and Wheatfield. For details about these clinics, or to find other testing locations around the state, visit www.coronavirus.in.gov and click on the COVID-19 testing information link.

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Drive Safely And Plan Ahead Over Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

While fewer drivers are expected to hit the road this Memorial Day weekend due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indiana Department of Transportation wants to remind motorists to slow down and travel safely, especially in work zones.

In Indiana, residents are starting to get “Back on Track” as various businesses and services are reopening. Because of this, Hoosiers may experience increased traffic in some areas.

Where possible, road construction and maintenance activities will be suspended by noon today. However, a number of restrictions and closures will remain in place due to long-term projects, including locally:

Lane closures on I-65 from U.S. 231/Crown Point to Ridge Road/Hobart

Lane closures on I-80/94 at I-65 interchange in Lake County

Drivers can learn more about existing work zones and other traffic alerts by visiting indot.carsprogram.org, dialing 1-800-261-ROAD (7623) or 511 from a mobile phone, or downloading the INDOT mobile app.

Subscribe to email and text alerts about INDOT projects here and be sure follow district pages on social media for the latest updates.

INDOT urges motorists to buckle up, follow posted speed limits, avoid distractions and allow extra time when traveling over the holiday weekend.

Healthcare Foundation Of La Porte Leads Data Coordination And Support Efforts During COVID-19

Posted on: May 22nd, 2020 by Ric Federighi No Comments

When the pandemic became very real for LaPorte County, the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL) did what they do best – mobilized resources, gathered the right people around the (virtual) table, began collecting data, and pushed forward with emergency assistance across multiple sectors. So far, HFL has distributed $681,621 in emergency grants. Beyond those efforts, HFL is working with a host of community partners. HFL has been able to help coordinate responses that have had a massive positive effect in the community in three key areas:  coordinating of personal protective equipment (PPE) needs – including purchasing and delivering, developing and maintaining their online COVID-19 Resource Hub and pivoting their Ten2030.org data center to COVID-19 related information.

It has been broken down so the community can get a keen look at the resources available at their fingertips. To get started visit www.hflaporte.org.