Indiana Department of Education Announces Recipients of 2019 Digital Learning Grants

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Yesterday, The Indiana Department of Education’s (IDOE) Office of eLearning announced the recipients of the 2019 Digital Learning Grants. This year’s grants offer up to $50,000 to support districts in building digital initiatives like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) instruction, project-based learning, and computer science curricula.

The 2019 Digital Learning Grants focused on proposals that included vetted STEM curriculum, devices for coding, robotics equipment, and professional development for teachers. Forty-eight districts were awarded Digital Learning Grants, totaling just over $2.2 million in funding. Awarded grants ranged from $20,000 to $50,000.

For a complete list of 2019 Digital Learning Grant recipients, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/2019-dlg-recipients.pdf. To learn more about the 2019 Digital Learning Grant, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/elearning/digital-learning-grant. For more information on IDOE’s Office of eLearning, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/elearning.

LOCAL EAGALA PROGRAM PROVIDING LIFE-CHANGING WORK AS SEEN ON ‘THE MUSTANG’

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Eagala (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association) program, Anam Cara Stables, has been providing life-changing services and improving the mental health of individuals, families, and groups through equine-assisted psychotherapy since May 2016.

The Eagala Model is a team approach that includes a licensed Mental Health Professional, a qualified Equine Specialist, and horses working together with the client in an arena at all times. When inside the arena, all the work is done on the ground with the horses front and center, deliberately unhindered and never ridden, and allowed to interact with the client as they wish. “This creates the space for the client, with the support of the professional facilitators, to reflect, project, and make deep connections.

This has proven to be extremely effective in working with marginalized groups such as women and children, sex-trafficking survivors, and criminal offenders. Inspired by true events, The Mustang, premiered Friday, March 15th.  It tells the story of a violent convict who is given the chance to participate in a prison rehabilitation program centered around the training of wild mustangs. Both The Mustang and the Eagala Model show the power of the horse in addressing mental health needs. As prey animals, horses respond to nonverbal messages, even unconscious ones, and their responses often remind clients of their goals, personal challenges, or relationships with themselves and others. This provides a safe environment to work through those relationships, where the horses only change when we do.”

THE MICHIGAN CITY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION HOSTS SPECIAL EDUCATION 101 FORUM IN CELEBRATION OF DISABILITY AWARENESS MONTH

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

In celebration of DisAbility Awareness month, the Michigan City Human Rights Commission (MCHRC) is proud to present the Special Education 101 Forum on Wednesday, March 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Michigan City Area Schools (MCAS) Administration Building located at 408 South Carroll Avenue.  Laura Swanson of IN*SOURCE, an advocacy group that educates families about special education and student rights, will kick off the evening by providing a Special Education overview. Swanson will talk about special education modifications and accommodations available to students with disabilities and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and she will provide parents with helpful tips on how best to communicate with school about their child’s education and progress.  Parents will also walk away from the forum understanding how to advocate on behalf of their children and hopefully teach their children how to do it for themselves as they mature.

Stacy Attar, Director of MCAS Student Support Services will also be in attendance to present MCAS Student Support Services (Special Education) offerings and address family questions about any, and all things Special Education-related.  Robin Krassow, MCAS Physical Therapist Assistant and Chris Kiser, MCAS Occupational Therapist Assistant will discuss therapy services that are available to students with IEP’s who require additional services and the impact they have on students.  In addition to Physical and Occupational therapy, MCAS also offers Speech to those with language needs.

This FREE event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.  This Forum will allow parents and the community a chance to address any special education questions or concerns.  For more information call (573)355-7855.

The Michigan City Area Schools Special Education program serves students across the district in a variety of settings, pre-K through grade 12.  Staff members provide services in the areas of academics, behavior, social-emotional wellness, speech, occupational and physical therapy, and more.  For more information, visit www.educateMC.net/specialed or call (219)873-2000.

The Michigan City Human Rights Commission provides all citizens with equal opportunities in the areas of employment, housing, and education. For more information, visit www.emichigancity.com/cityhall/departments/humanrights.

Michigan City Moves presents Sand: A Migrating Performance in 4 Parts

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Michigan City Moves, a new performance collective dedicated to promoting and sharing experimental music, dance and film in the NW Indiana region, is presenting a series of performances, highlighting nature and architecture from the Indiana Dunes, to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts and a historic barn at Tryon Farm. The performances will feature the work of choreographers Kristina Isabelle and Melli Hoppe, sound media artist Elise Kermani, and costumes by Pilgrim Heidi Kambitsch. The series is inspired by the play Sacred Sands: A Play for Voices, written by David Hoppe, and the book Sacred Sands: The Struggle for Community in the Indiana Dunes, written by J. Ronald Engel.
Part I: Readjustment/Shifting Sand will take place on April 27th at 6:00 at Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk – Indiana Dunes National Park, Riverwalk Drive, Portage. MCM is an artist collective dedicated to promoting and sharing experimental music, dance and film in NW Indiana through performances, classes and interactive workshops. For more information contact Melli Hoppe at 219-210-3619 or[email protected].

South Shore Line: Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo

Posted on: March 19th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

South Shore Line service updates will be in effect to accommodate passengers attending the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo March 22-24, 2019, at McCormick Place.

The SSL will be offering select weekday train stops at McCormick Place Station on Friday, March 22, in addition to regular service to McCormick Place during the weekend. Following is the list of weekday flag stop arrivals/departures scheduled for Friday.

* For other specific station stop times,visit mysouthshoreline.com to view the full schedule of March 22 McCormick Place weekday stops.

NIPSCO renews support to Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana in time for spring season

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

In their second year as program sponsor to the local Girls on the Run council, NIPSCO also brings girl power.

A recent independent study led by Dr. Maureen Weiss, an expert in Positive Youth Development, found that Girls on the Run’s intentional life skills curriculum and highly trained coaches positively impact girls’ lives by helping them increase their self-confidence, develop healthy relationships and feel good about themselves.

Sixty percent of Girls on the Run participants rely on financial assistance in order to participate. NIPSCO’s financial support helps cover program-related costs such as: curriculum, healthy snacks, running shoes as well as the celebratory end-of-season 5K.

Girls on the Run of Northwest Indiana will serve 2,500 girls in their ten-week program during the spring and fall seasons of 2019.

2019 MICHIGAN CITY ANNUAL SPRING CLEAN-UP

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Michigan City, Refuse Department will conduct its Annual Spring Clean-Up beginning on March 26, 2018. The Refuse Department requests that all residents separate the debris that is to be discarded into the following three (3) categories:

Brush, limbs, shrubs, yard waste, and unpainted concrete (no black-top rubble);

Rugs, lumber, furniture, mattress, and box-springs; and

Appliances and tires. Tires can be rimmed or un-rimmed, and appliances include items such as stoves, refrigerators, air conditions, water tanks, etc.

Please keep the above items separated as described above. Residents may place items on curbside or in the alleys, whichever is most convenient.

The City will be divided into three (3) Zones, with each zone having two (2) separate weeks when items can be placed out for the special Spring Clean-Up. Residents should place items out for pick-up on the same day as your normal refuse pick-up day, but only during the corresponding week for the Zone in which they reside.

Using the map provided you can determine when the Refuse Department will pick-up your Spring Clean-Up items. The pick-up weeks are:

ZONE 1: MARCH 25 – MARCH 29 and APRIL 15 – 19

ZONE 2: APRIL 1 – 5 and APRIL 22 – 26

ZONE 3: APRIL 8- 12 and APRIL 29 – MAY 3

Additionally, the Refuse Department wants to make you aware that Yard Waste/Compost pick-up will begin on May 6, 2019, and continue through

November 22, 2019. The Refuse Department will issue more information on the dates for yard waste and compost pick-up soon.

Zone #1 is bounded by Lake Michigan on the north, Kieffer Road/400 N on the south,

Franklin Street on the east, and County Line Road on the west.

Zone #2 is bounded by Michigan Boulevard on the north, Kieffer Road/400 N on the south, Roeske Avenue on the east, and Franklin Street on the west.

Zone #3 is bounded by Lake Michigan and Shoreland Drive on the north,

Michigan Boulevard on the south and west, and Meer Road on the east.

Note: Residents should place Spring Clean-up items out for pick-up on the same day as your normal refuse pick-up day, but only during the corresponding week for the Zone in which they reside.

Committee advances school bus safety legislation

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments


The House Courts and Criminal Code Committee voted in support of legislation co-sponsored by State Rep. Jim Pressel (R-Rolling Prairie) that would strengthen the penalties for individuals who fail to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended. When school buses stop to pick up or drop off children, their stop arms extend and lights flash to signal other drivers to stop as students get on or off the bus. Pressel said most drivers follow traffic laws regarding school bus stop arms, but some are either unaware of current law or disregard it. Currently, the penalty for an individual who fails to stop when a school bus stop arm is extended is a Class A infraction. Under this legislation, that penalty would be raised to a Class C misdemeanor. Similarly, if the action results in injury or death, the penalty would be raised from a Class A misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony or a Level 5 felony, respectively. Last year, an accident in Fulton County claimed the lives of three children who were struck by an oncoming car as they crossed the road to board their school bus. Pressel said the legislation would also improve safety by ensuring school corporations review scheduled bus routes each year, and avoid making students cross state highways to board or get off a school bus. Senate Bill 2 now goes to the full House for consideration. To learn more, visit iga.in.gov.

Statewide Tornado Drill Scheduled for Tomorrow

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security (IDHS) is encouraging Hoosiers to plan ahead for extreme weather as part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, March 17-23. IDHS encourages Hoosiers to build a disaster preparedness kit, identify shelter and practice emergency plans during this year’s preparedness week. As part of Severe Weather Preparedness Week, a statewide tornado drill is planned for 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19. This drill provides a valuable opportunity for families, schools and businesses to practice severe weather emergency plans. To learn more about preparing for severe weather, visit GetPrepared.in.gov

PNW Job Fair

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Job seekers looking for employment in education are invited to a career fair Tuesday, March 19 at Purdue University Northwest (PNW) in The James B. Dworkin Student Services and Activities Complex on the Westville Campus at 1401 S. U.S. 421, Westville, IN 46391. Sponsored by PNW’s Career Center, the fair is from 10 a.m. to noon with opportunities for follow-up interviews with employers between 1-6 p.m. Community members may register at the door and professional business attire is encouraged. More than 30 organizations will be represented, ranging from public school corporations to charter schools. Many are from northwest Indiana, while others are arriving from other parts of Indiana, Chicago, Michigan and points as far away as Texas. Learn more about the Professional Educator’s Fair at pnw.edu. For questions, contact Kristy Steiner at 219-989-2600 or [email protected]

Drugs, Liquor and Suspended Driver Found in Commercial Motor Vehicle Blitz

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Troopers and motor carrier inspectors (MCI) conducted a two day blitz stopping semis on the Indiana Toll Road rest area east and west bound at the 37 mile marker and at the east and west bound weigh scales on I-94 at the 28 mile marker.

On Wednesday, March 13, 2019, a three hour blitz at both east and west bound weigh scales was conducted targeting semis that bypassed the weigh scales (going by the scales without being weighed) when the signal relayed that all trucks were required to enter.  During this period they inspected twenty-seven (27) trucks, resulting in fifty (50) violations, one (1) truck was placed out of service (equipment violation), ten (10) citations and thirteen (13) warnings were given.

On Thursday, March 14, 2019, a four hour blitz was conducted on the Indiana Toll Road at the east and west bound rest areas at the 37 mile marker where random semis were weighed with portable scales.  During this period they checked twenty-seven (27) trucks, resulting in fifty-one (51) violations, three (3) trucks were placed out of service, five (5) drivers were placed out of service, nine (9) citations and thirteen (13) warnings were given. 

During the blitz Thursday, one driver, Dustin M. Arnold of Georgia, was found to have had his license suspended, while talking with the driver a strong odor of suspected marijuana was coming from inside the truck, further investigation revealed he was in possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana, and he had possession of alcohol (bottle of vodka).  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation states that a driver of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) may not be in possession of alcohol while on duty, operating, or physical control of a CMV.

Arnold was taken to the LaPorte County Jail in LaPorte and charged with possession of marijuana (less than 30 grams).

Tickets Available For 21st Annual Michiana Humane Society Spring Fling

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Get ready for the 21st Annual Michiana Humane Society Spring Fling. This year the theme is “Spring Time in Paris”, and it will be held at Traditions Event Center at 2107 Welnetz Road, in Michigan City on Saturday, April 13. There will be cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and live music beginning at 5pm central, dinner by Froehlich’s beginning at 6:30pm, and a live auction conducted by Scheerer McCulloch Auctioneers at 8pm. You can now buy tickets online atwww.michianahumanesociety.org, mail your RSVP to the shelter, or call the shelter with your information. All proceeds benefit the homeless animals at Michiana Humane Society & SPCA

Meer’s Michigan City State of the City Set For April 11th

Posted on: March 18th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer will be delivering his 2019 “State of the City” Address at the Michigan City Senior Center, located in Washington Park at, Two on the Lake, in Michigan City, on Thursday, April 11, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. The public is invited to attend.

U.S. 20 and SR 2 in LaPorte County Intersection Project Set To Begin March 18

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Work is set to begin tomorrow on an intersection improvement project at U.S. 20 and SR 2 in Rolling Prairie. This project will see a “dogbone” interchange built at this location, eliminating the traffic signal and creating a bridge carrying motorists north-south with east-west traffic passing underneath. Roundabouts will be placed at the north and south ends of the bridge, creating the so-called “dogbone”. During the project, the corridor will be closed to north-south (LaPorte to New Carlisle) traffic between CR N 500 E and Oak Knoll Road, while east-west traffic (Michigan City to South Bend) will be one lane in each direction from Oak Knoll Road to CR N 600 E. The project is expected to wrap up in mid-November.

NIPSCO Reinvests $660 Million into Energy System Upgrades in 2019

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

With the heavy construction season around the corner, NIPSCO will be continuing its work to upgrade the electric and gas infrastructure across northern Indiana with nearly $660 million in planned investments this year. This reinvestment is part of NIPSCO’s overall ongoing modernization plan to ensure long-term safety and reliability for customers. Vast portions of the nation’s infrastructure system – including NIPSCO’s – were built in the post-World War II era. After more than 60 years, those systems are nearing the limits of their original design, and NIPSCO’s plan proactively addresses these critical areas before they become problematic.
Among the types of upgrades planned in 2019, NIPSCO will replace and upgrade some of the following components of its system: 1,776 wooden utility poles and 86 miles of overhead electrical transmission lines 162,000 feet of underground electrical cable lines, 18 power transformers and 98 circuit breakers 7,393 existing streetlights to energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lights 10 miles of natural gas pipeline and upgrades to natural gas regulator stations Continued program to expand natural gas in-line inspection technology and system capabilities These modernization projects provide a number of direct benefits to customers and communities by maintaining the overall safety and integrity of the system, identifying 2 and eliminating system failures, providing direct and indirect economic benefits, and supporting new business expansion across the state. For more information on NIPSCO’s modernization plan please visit NIPSCO.com/future.

Indiana Four Star Schools Announced

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced the 2017-2018 Four Star Schools. Created by IDOE, the Four Star Schools designation recognizes great schools in Indiana.
The Four Star School Award has been in existence for over 30 years. To receive Four Star designation, a school must receive an “A” on the state’s A-F accountability system and have excellent ISTEP pass rates. A total of 234 schools received the award.
For more information regarding the Four Star School Award, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/accountability/four-star-schools. To view acomplete list of recognized schools, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/2017-2018-four-star-list.pdf.

Local schools on the list:

Saint Patrick School – Chesterton

Saint Paul Catholic School – Valparaiso

Chesterton Senior High School – Chesterton
Jackson Elementary School – Valparaiso
Liberty Intermediate School – Chesterton

Morgan Township Elementary School – Valparaiso

John Glenn High School – Walkerton
F Willard Crichfield Elementary – LaPorte

Union Center Elementary School – Valparaiso
Benjamin Franklin Middle School – Valparaiso
Cooks Corners Elementary School – Valparaiso
Heavilin Elementary School – Valparaiso
Northview Elementary School – Valparaiso
Valparaiso High School – Valparaiso

2019 Washington Park Annual Parking Sticker Distribution

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Michigan City Parks & Recreation Department announces that beginning Mon, April 1, Washington Park 2019 parking stickers will be issued at the North Pointe Pavilion in Washington Park, 6 on the Lake, Michigan City, IN  46360. Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9 am-4 pm (excluding holidays), and on Saturdays from 9 am-12 noon beginning May 4th through July 27th.
Stickers will be available at the Michigan City Senior Center FOR ONE DAY ONLY during their annual Trash & Treasure Sale to be held on Saturday, March 30th from 8am-12noon.  The Sale itself will continue until 1:00pm but stickers are available only until 12noon. The Michigan City Senior Center is also located in Washington Park. 
Please bring a current vehicle registration; a paper certificate of registration will not be accepted, it must be a valid original registration card.  If you own property in the civil city but reside outside of the civil city limits, bring a utility bill or tax bill (the name on the bill must match the name on your vehicle registration) for the city property along with your current vehicle registration and the fee will be waived.
FEES:
FREE – Civil City Residents       
$  25 –  LaPorte County Residents
$  40 –  Indiana Residents          
$100  – Out of State                 
$  23 –  Senior Center member (must show current membership card)
For more information, call 219.873.1506.

LA PORTE COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR NEIL THOMPSON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office has announced that it is now seeking applications for the Neil Thompson Memorial Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is available to any senior scheduled to graduate this year from a high school in La Porte County who has been accepted to a college or university and will be studying law enforcement, criminal justice or a criminal justice related field. Applicants are required to submit an essay, no fewer than 500 words, on why they will be pursuing a career in law enforcement.
The scholarship was established soon after the 1980 death of Patrolman Neil Thompson, the only Deputy from the La Porte County Sheriff ‘s Office to be killed in the line of duty. He was killed on September 21, 1980 when a suspect fleeing from other officers in a stolen ambulance intentionally rammed his patrol vehicle. The driver was convicted of manslaughter. Deputy Thompson had served with the Sheriff’s Office for three years and was a United States Army veteran of the Vietnam War. In 2002, State Road 39 from US Highway 6 to US Highway 30, was dedicated as the Neil G. Thompson Memorial Highway. In 2015, the Sheriff’s Office opened the scholarship to include students from all La Porte County’s high schools.
Scholarship applications may be picked up at the front desk of the Sheriff’s Office on the main floor of the La Porte County Complex or from any of the Sheriff ‘s Office School Resource Officers.
The deadline for applications/essays is Friday, May 3 at 3 pm. The recipient will be selected by a panel that includes the School Resource Officers. The scholarship will be awarded at the Department’s annual Peace Officers Memorial in May.
Questions can be directed to Captain Allen at [email protected] or (219) 326-7700 ext. 2283.

Indiana Department of Education Announces Recipient of 2018-2019 Title III Distinguished School District Award

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Indiana Department of Education has announced the recipient of the 2018-2019 Title III Distinguished Indiana School District Award. Hamilton Southeastern Schools was chosen to receive this distinction for demonstrating a commitment to English Learner success through strategic programming, rigorous instruction, inclusive school culture, and beneficial partnerships with families and the community.  Hamilton Southeastern Schools was selected after a review of English Learner performance data from all public-school districts and charter schools, followed by a two-part interview process, including an on-site visit. For more information on Title III funding, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/elme/title-iii-language-instruction.

Purdue University Northwest offers Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning summer camp. Two-week program open to high school students

Posted on: March 17th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) will offer its first Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) Summer Camp weekdays from Monday, July 8 through Friday, July 19 on the Hammond Campus. The PNW Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will host the camp, which will offer high school students the opportunity to learn AI/ML concepts and implement them in fun game-based programming platforms. Participants will discover the science and engineering that runs their technology, and see how AI/ML techniques have improved many professional fields and created a number of job opportunities in the last few years. Camp details. The two-week session will last from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each weekday. Students must be entering ninth grade or higher in fall 2019 to be eligible to attend. The application deadline is June 7 and cost per student is $100. For more information, visit the Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning Summer Camp site at www.pnw.edu/ai-camp, or contact Rose Benoit at 219-989-3106 or [email protected].

HEALTH OFFICIALS URGE HOOSIERS TO SCREEN FOR COLORECTAL CANCER

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that nearly 3,400 Hoosiers will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and an estimated 1,100 will die as a result of the disease this year. Screening and early detection can save lives, and screening does not have to be expensive or uncomfortable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) is urging Hoosiers to get regular screenings and make healthy lifestyle choices to reduce their risks of developing the disease, which is the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer among both men and women in Indiana.
“By choosing to avoid tobacco products, eating a healthy diet, exercising and getting regular recommended screenings, Hoosiers can greatly reduce their risk of colorectal cancer,” said State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG. According to the ACS, regular colorectal cancer screenings are one of the most important tools to prevent colorectal cancer. With regular screenings, most polyps can be found and removed before they have the chance to turn into cancer. Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when it’s small and easier to treat.
The two greatest risk factors for developing colorectal cancer are gender and age. More than half of Indiana’s cases from 2011 to 2015 were diagnosed in men, and nearly 90 percent of those cases were in residents age 50 and older. However, there has been a recent, concerning trend toward increased incidence in young individuals. Other risk factors include race, personal or family history of colorectal cancer or polyps, a personal history of chronic inflammatory bowel disease, certain inherited genetic conditions such as Lynch syndrome and being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. For more information about colorectal cancer in Indiana, visit the ISDH’s website at www.StateHealth.in.gov or the Indiana Cancer Consortium at indianacancer.org.
For important health and safety tips, follow on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at facebook.com/isdh1.

La Porte Hospital invites the community to enjoy the music of Knit Together at First Friday in the Chapel

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

La Porte Hospital is opening the doors to its chapel for another “First Friday” concert. On April 5, at noon, the musical ensemble, Knit Together will be playing and singing its popular southern gospel and folk music. Instruments to be played for this performance include the soprano, baritone, and concert ukulele and a rain stick.
Members of the group include Wayne and Lori Stefano, a local couple who have been married for nineteen years as well as Tammy Glanser who is married to her husband Gary. The Glansers are proud parents of three children and many grandchildren.
Selections for the April 5th, performance will include “Hey, Y’All,” depicting the simple country life, “Plans, an Invitation to Life” a Christian song about God’s plan for our lives, “Momma and Me,”, depicting the story of Lori’s mother’s passing form Alzheimer’s disease, and “The Stars Are Out Tonight,” depicting the passing of Lori’s nephew, Jordan, from a drug overdose.
First Friday in the Chapel is made possible by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte (HFL), a not-for-profit foundation dedicated to empowering residents to live healthy and well in and around La Porte. HFL is proud to support health and wellness programs and services to achieve the vision of La Porte becoming one of Indiana’s top 10 healthiest communities by 2030. For more information about First Friday in the Chapel performances, please call 219-325-7633.

Indiana Department of Revenue: Watch Out for Phone Calls Impersonating DOR or the IRS

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Indiana Department of Revenue (DOR) is warning taxpayers to be on alert when getting phone calls claiming they have unpaid tax bills. These phone calls are often scams designed to threaten individuals with some sort of law enforcement or legal action in order to get them to send money towards bogus tax bills.

The federal government’s Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) reports that 14,700 victims have paid more than $72 million as a result of phone scams since 2013.
Customers should be aware that DOR and the IRS will never:
Call demanding immediate payment using a specific payment method, such as a prepaid debit card, gift card or wire transfer. Generally, the taxpayer will receive a bill in the mail if taxes are owed.
Demand taxpayers pay taxes without the opportunity to question or appeal the amount owed. Taxpayers should also be advised of Indiana’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights, here.
Threaten to bring in local police, immigration officers or other law enforcement to have the taxpayer arrested for refusing payment.
Threaten to revoke a taxpayer’s driver’s license, business licenses or immigration status. Threats like these are common tactics scam artists use to trick victims into buying into their schemes.
Call about an unexpected refund.
If taxpayers think they are the target of a phone scam:
Do not give the caller any personal information and hang up immediately.
Call TIGTA at 800-366-4484 or report online here.  
Report to DOR by email at investig[email protected] or by phone at 317-232-2240.
To confirm any claims made by a potential scammer, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 or DOR Customer Service at 317-232-2240, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST.

January Indiana Employment Report

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Indiana’s unemployment rate stands at 3.5 percent for January and remains lower than the national rate of 4.0 percent. With the exception of one month when it was equal (October 2014), Indiana’s unemployment rate now has been below the U.S. rate for more than five years. 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 7,613 over the previous month. This was a result of an increase of 1,556 unemployed residents and an increase of 6,057 employed residents. Indiana’s total labor force, which includes both Hoosiers employed and those seeking employment, stands at 3.39 million, and the state’s 65.1 percent labor force participation rate remains above the national rate of 63.2 percent. Learn more about how unemployment rates are calculated here:http://www.hoosierdata.in.gov/infographics/employment-status.asp.

U.S. 20 and SR 2 in LaPorte County Intersection Project Set To Begin March 18

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Work is set to begin Monday, March 18, on an intersection improvement project at U.S. 20 and SR 2 in Rolling Prairie. This project will see a “dogbone” interchange built at this location, eliminating the traffic signal and creating a bridge carrying motorists north-south with east-west traffic passing underneath. Roundabouts will be placed at the north and south ends of the bridge, creating the so-called “dogbone”. During the project, the corridor will be closed to north-south (LaPorte to New Carlisle) traffic between CR N 500 E and Oak Knoll Road, while east-west traffic (Michigan City to South Bend) will be one lane in each direction from Oak Knoll Road to CR N 600 E. The project is expected to wrap up in mid-November.

NIPSCO Reinvests $660 Million into Energy System Upgrades in 2019

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

With the heavy construction season around the corner, NIPSCO will be continuing its work to upgrade the electric and gas infrastructure across northern Indiana with nearly $660 million in planned investments this year. This reinvestment is part of NIPSCO’s overall ongoing modernization plan to ensure long-term safety and reliability for customers. Vast portions of the nation’s infrastructure system – including NIPSCO’s – were built in the post-World War II era. After more than 60 years, those systems are nearing the limits of their original design, and NIPSCO’s plan proactively addresses these critical areas before they become problematic.
Among the types of upgrades planned in 2019, NIPSCO will replace and upgrade some of the following components of its system: 1,776 wooden utility poles and 86 miles of overhead electrical transmission lines 162,000 feet of underground electrical cable lines, 18 power transformers and 98 circuit breakers 7,393 existing streetlights to energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lights 10 miles of natural gas pipeline and upgrades to natural gas regulator stations Continued program to expand natural gas in-line inspection technology and system capabilities These modernization projects provide a number of direct benefits to customers and communities by maintaining the overall safety and integrity of the system, identifying 2 and eliminating system failures, providing direct and indirect economic benefits, and supporting new business expansion across the state. For more information on NIPSCO’s modernization plan please visit NIPSCO.com/future.

Indiana Four Star Schools Announced, Including Locally

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) announced the 2017-2018 Four Star Schools. Created by IDOE, the Four Star Schools designation recognizes great schools in Indiana.
The Four Star School Award has been in existence for over 30 years. To receive Four Star designation, a school must receive an “A” on the state’s A-F accountability system and have excellent ISTEP pass rates. A total of 234 schools received the award.
For more information regarding the Four Star School Award, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/accountability/four-star-schools. To view acomplete list of recognized schools, please visit: www.doe.in.gov/sites/default/files/news/2017-2018-four-star-list.pdf.

Local schools on the list:

Saint Patrick School – Chesterton

Saint Paul Catholic School – Valparaiso

Chesterton Senior High School – Chesterton
Jackson Elementary School – Valparaiso
Liberty Intermediate School – Chesterton

Morgan Township Elementary School – Valparaiso

John Glenn High School – Walkerton
F Willard Crichfield Elementary – LaPorte

Union Center Elementary School – Valparaiso
Benjamin Franklin Middle School – Valparaiso
Cooks Corners Elementary School – Valparaiso
Heavilin Elementary School – Valparaiso
Northview Elementary School – Valparaiso
Valparaiso High School – Valparaiso

St. Patrick’s Day South Shore Line Information

Posted on: March 16th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

In order to accommodate an expected increase in ridership due to the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade and dyeing of the river, the South Shore Line will offer additional capacity and extra passenger trains on Saturday, March 16. 
Westbound Train 502 and Train 606 will operate with additional capacity to accommodate passengers heading to Chicago in the morning. 
In the afternoon, two eastbound passenger Extras will run after the parade and dyeing of the river:
The first Extra will depart Millennium Station at 4:25 p.m. (Van Buren St. at 4:28 p.m.).
The second Extra will depart Millennium Station at 6:15 p.m. (Van Buren St. at 6:18 p.m.).
Both Extras will run non-stop to Hegewisch and make all local stops terminating at Carroll Avenue, Michigan City. The extra trains will not serve Hudson Lake or South Bend.
Alcohol is prohibited on all trains on March 16. Glass bottles are prohibited at all times.

HEALTH DEPARTMENT OFFERS FREE HELP TO QUIT TOBACCO

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

For the second year in a row, the Indiana Tobacco Quitline is offering tobacco users free medication to help them quit tobacco use. The nicotine replacement therapy promotion is available now and ends when supplies run out. In the last year, nearly 7,500 Hoosiers received a free two-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy through the Quitline. To take advantage of the free offer, tobacco users must enroll in the Indiana Tobacco Quitline, which provides a trained coach who will work with them to make a personalized quit plan. Online counseling is also provided. Once enrolled, users will receive a two-week supply of free medication, including gum or patches. Although it can be difficult to overcome nicotine addiction, Hoosiers do quit smoking every day. Today, there are more former smokers than current smokers nationwide. Surveys have found that nearly 70 percent of all cigarette smokers want to quit, and research shows quitting at any age has health benefits. Counseling, including Quitline coaching, and medication are both effective, especially when used together. Medications help by decreasing urges to smoke and easing withdrawal symptoms. Smoking is the leading preventable cause of disease and death in the United States. Approximately 22 percent of Indiana adults smoke, and smoking kills 11,100 Hoosiers each year. More than 330,000 Hoosiers live with smoking-related diseases. Take the first step toward quitting smoking and get free help by calling the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or by going to QuitNowIndiana.com. Visit ISDH at www.StateHealth.in.gov for important health and safety information, or follow on Twitter at @StateHealthIN and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1.

MICHIGAN CITY HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION WELCOMES MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS ADVOCATE STACY VALDIVIA

Posted on: March 15th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Michigan City Human Rights Commission will welcome Stacy Valdivia, a disability advocate who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in February of 2014 on Tuesday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m. at the Michigan City Area Schools Administration Building located at 408 South Carroll Avenue in Michigan City. Stacy will discuss her “invisible” disability, how she felt when she received her diagnosis, what therapies and medications she suggests and how she advocates at work to help educate the disability community about how clothing, fabrics and tags can impact kids with sensory processing issues. Stacy lives in Valparaiso and is a 2017 Graduate of the Indiana Governors Council for People with Disabilities Partners in Policymaking Academy. To educate communities and support others with MS, Stacy heads up an MS Support Group that meets at Porter Regional Hospital in Valparaiso the second Monday of every month at 7:00 p.m. The meetings are held in the Community Room. For more information about the Group contact Stacy at (219)916-6245. The Michigan City Human Rights Commission provides all citizens with equal opportunities in the areas of employment, housing, and education. The Commission is committed to the citizens of Michigan City and to provide and promote equal opportunities by enforcing Human and Civil Rights issues and advocating for anti-discriminatory systems and tolerance of all people. For more information, visit www.emichigancity.com/cityhall/departments/humanrights.