Gov. Holcomb directs actions aimed at reducing Indiana’s smoking rate

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

Yesterday, the Indiana State Department of Health and Indiana Family and Social Services Administration acted on direction from Governor Eric J. Holcomb to improve access to and the affordability of tobacco cessation products for Hoosiers wanting to quit smoking or using tobacco.Monday morning at Eskenazi Health Center West, 38th Street, State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, issued a standing order effective Aug. 1 allowing Hoosiers to purchase tobacco cessation products at Indiana pharmacies without having to obtain an individual prescription. Indiana becomes only the 12th state with a policy or standing order allowing pharmacists to prescribe tobacco cessation products, eliminating financial and time barriers for individuals considering quitting smoking.Dr. Jennifer Walthall, M.D., MPH, Secretary of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration, also announced Indiana Medicaid will follow Gov. Holcomb’s directive to reimburse health care providers offering tobacco cessation counseling for expectant mothers. She also announced that Indiana Medicaid will remove copayments for tobacco cessation products for pregnant women or members up to one year postpartum.

Indiana School Safety Grant Now Accepting Applications

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

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security announced that it’s now accepting applications for the Secured School Safety Grant (SSSG), a matching state grant dedicated to safety initiatives at Hoosier schools. The grant application is open through Aug. 2.

Public school corporations, accredited non-public schools, charter schools or a coalition of school corporations and/or charter schools applying jointly are eligible to apply for the matching grants of up to $100,000, based on the average daily membership of the school entity. To apply by the Aug. 2 application deadline, schools first must identify a system administrator for the IntelliGrants grant management system and register with the IDHS System Administrator Form. For more information and to begin the application process, schools can visit the IDHS Grants Management website.

Unity Foundation Presents 20th Annual Swine Grant

Posted on: July 16th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

The Unity Foundation of La Porte Presented the annual Clarence Weinkauff, Jr. award winner. This year The Weinkauff Family celebrated 20 years of presenting the award. The Clarence Weinkauff, Jr. Grant Fund promotes the 4-H swine program and the breeding of swine in La Porte County. Each year, the fund awards a $500 grant to a 4-H member to reward the extra effort and passion that goes along with breeding and raising swine – even if the livestock does not win the competition. Students apply for the award through an essay submitted to the local 4H extension office prior to the fair. This year’s award was presented to Mitchell Brown, a 10 year participant in the La Porte County Fair Swine Project. For more information, please visit
www.uflc.net or call 219-879-0327.

Single Vehicle Crash on I80 Injures One

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

Indiana State Police responded to a 911 call of a crash at the 3 mile marker of Interstate 80 eastbound. 

Preliminary Investigation by Trooper William Stancy indicates that a 2001 Toyota Sienna minivan, being driven by Kylie Justice, 22, of Gary, was traveling eastbound when for unknown reasons it swerved and struck the concrete barrier wall near the 3 mile marker in Hammond, Indiana.  Judging by tire marks and other evidence from the scene, it is believed that after striking the center barrier wall, the vehicle traveled back into the roadway and across all 5 lanes before hitting the outer barrier wall and coming to a rest.  The vehicle sustained heavy front end damage.  Ms. Justice was found in the driver’s seat of the minivan, unresponsive, with a laceration to her head.  She was transported to Northlake Methodist Hospital in Gary, Indiana. 

The driver of the vehicle was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the crash.  Alcohol is believed to be a factor in this crash.  The vehicle involved in the crash had an expired registration.

Gary Man Arrested after Fleeing and Hitting Two Trooper’s Police Cars

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

On Saturday night, Trooper Alissa Partyka made a traffic stop on a 2000 Chrysler Sebring on U.S. 12 and Clay Street in Gary for a traffic violation. The Sebring initially stopped in a gravel lot east of Clay Street but then slowly began to drive away. 43 year old Arthuro B. Smith of Gary, drove around the police car and then fled east on U.S. 12. As Smith was east on U.S. 12 he drove into the westbound lane and Partyka pulled her police car alongside the Sebring. Smith steered his car to the right and hit Partyka’s police car on the driver’s rear side. Smith still on the west bound side of U.S. 12 was approaching the intersection of U.S. 12 and South Lake Street when Troopers Partyka and Justin Hansen attempted to box the Sebring in before he reached the intersection for the safety of motorists. Trooper Hansen drove his fully marked police car next to the driver’s side of the Sebring when Smith steered his car to the left and struck Hansen’s front passenger side of the car. Smith crashed the Sebring into a pile of debris near the 5700 block of Melton Road and then fled on foot. Partyka, Hansen and Hansen’s K-9 partner Nikan pursued after Smith and caught him in an empty lot near the 5700 block of East Dunes Highway. Smith sustained non-life threatening injuries which occurred when he fell during the foot pursuit. Smith was NOT bitten by the K-9. Smith was taken to Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Hobart and was eventually released. Smith was also found to be twice the legal limit intoxicated (.08% Blood Alcohol Content). He also stated he fled because his license was suspended. Smith was taken to the Lake County Jail in Crown Point and was charged with Resisting Law Enforcement with a Vehicle, Resisting Law Enforcement, Possession of Marijuana, Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), OWI Endangerment, OWI with BAC over .15%, Leaving Scene of a Property Damage Crash, Criminal Recklessness, Open Container, Driving While Suspended, Disregarding a Stop Sign and Driving Left of Center.

La Porte County Pays Ransomware Actors to Retrieve Data

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

Following a meeting held with department heads and elected officials Friday morning, LaPorte County Commission President Dr. Vidya Kora announced that “decryption” of the county’s data began late Thursday and steps are being taken to reduce the chances of any future “ransomware attack” as occurred on Saturday, July 6th. Said Dr. Kora, “this particular virus – RYUK – that was used by the bad actors in this attack was particularly insidious in that it jumped over all our firewalls and was able to penetrate backup servers. Even after conferring with the FBI’s cyber security unit to determine if their decryption codes would work, they determined after several tries their “keys” would not unlock our data, and we were required to pay the ransomware actors to retrieve our data. A go-between from a firm we hired negotiated for us and negotiated the demands down considerably from the initial demand of $221,000 to a final agreed-upon price of 10 ½ bitcoin or $132,300. Fortunately, our cybersecurity insurance policy will cover $100,000.00 of that amount. “My fellow commissioners – Sheila Matias and Rich Mrozinski – and I along with County Council President Randy Novak, IT Director Darlene Hale, Auditor Joie Winski and County Attorney Shaw Friedman met with county department heads and elected officials this morning to assure them that now that we had acquired the decryption key and were ‘unlocking the encrypted data” that county computer systems would be gradually unlocked including our email program. We commended IT Director Darlene Hale and her team for their swift action in averting a wider infection of the virus as just 7% of all PC’s were hit, however, the two main domain servers were successfully penetrated which blocked ‘network services’. “Importantly, our special response team that was hired has assured us that as of 7:30 a.m. today, there is no evidence that personal information of our employees may have been accessed or acquired as a result of the ransomware event.” Said Dr. Kora, “The County Commission is committed to putting in place protections going forward such as use of a behavioral-based anti-virus software rather than just a signature based anti-virus software, to more employee training on how to avoid accidentally introducing such viruses into our system and other protections such as an annual cyber security audit conducted by a third party. Unfortunately, in a day and age where cyber-crime has become so lucrative and many private and governmental entities across the country are being ‘extorted’ for their data, an ounce of additional prevention will be worth a pound of cure.”

New Roadwork Beginning in South Bend

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

INDOT announced that paving operations will begin Monday on State Road 933 in South Bend. Crews will start Monday on the section between Angela Boulevard and Douglas Road, beginning with right lanes both northbound and southbound. Tuesday, work will be on the left lanes in both directions and Wednesday crews will pave the center turn lane. Following that section, the operation will move north with paving to be done in the same format between Douglas Road and Cleveland Road. Following that, crews will pave the area between Darden Road and Auten Road. These three sections are anticipated to fully wrap up within two weeks. Throughout these operations, traffic will be maintained a minimum of one lane in each direction at all times. The sections between Cleveland Road and Darden Road and from Auten Road to the Michigan state line will follow. Additional information will be released prior to those last two sections getting underway.

State Road 51 Closed in Lake County

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

INDOT announced that State Road 51 in Lake County is closing Monday at the intersection with U.S. 30. 
Crews will be making drainage repairs from U.S. 30 to about 500 feet north of U.S. 30. Traffic on U.S. 30 will not be affected by the closure. The road is anticipated to reopen by early August.

C.O. Mollenhour Conservation Camp Starting Next Week

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

Some northern Indiana youth are set to learn environmental awareness and skills thanks to the C.O. Mollenhour Conservation Camp on McClures Lake near Silver Lake. Indiana conservation officers along with a council of dedicated volunteers will help host the event, which will be divided into boys and girls camps. The boys camp will run through July 19, and girls camp will be July 21-26. The camp was established in 1938 and is celebrating 81 years of educating young people on environmental and conservation awareness. While at camp, each participant will be certified in hunter and boater education, learn tree stand and ATV safety, learn to identify native Indiana wildlife, experience SCUBA and river rescue demonstrations, and learn firearm and archery safety and skills along with many other outdoor activities. Campers must be 9-14 years old to attend. Registration is limited to the first 80 registrants. The boys camp is full and on a waiting list. For more information on C.O. Mollenhour Conservation Camp or to sponsor a camper, please see conservationcamp.org

U.S Rep Jackie Walorski Issues Statement Following Vote aGainst HR 2500

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

U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement after voting against H.R. 2500, a partisan version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would harm military readiness: 
“Congress’ most important responsibility is to provide for the national defense and support our brave men and women in uniform. Sadly, the NDAA passed by the House today falls short of these goals and breaks a longstanding tradition of bipartisan cooperation. “While the Senate passed its bill with overwhelming support from both parties, House Democratic leaders offered a partisan proposal that underfunds our national defense, undercuts military readiness, and reverses prohibitions on transferring terrorist detainees from Gitmo. I hope they will put politics aside and pass a commonsense, bipartisan national defense bill, including two provisions I authored to encourage adoption of military working dogs by their former handlers and connect more wounded warriors to service dogs.” The Senate recently passed its bipartisan version of the NDAA, which would authorize $750 billion in defense funding, by an overwhelming vote of 86 to 8.

Indiana’s JAG program continues to excel by again winning top honor

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Indiana’s Jobs for America’s Graduates program continues to shine as a national leader among its peers, earning a prestigious award for the fifth consecutive year.
JAG Indiana, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), received the “5 of 5” Award July 10 at a national JAG conference in Orlando, Florida. The award recognizes the Indiana program for exceeding five goals set at the national level relating to graduation rates, post-secondary education, job placement and other significant milestones.

Escaped Inmate Caught, Police Looking For Owners Of Backpack

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Shortly after midnight Thursday morning, Travis Hornett, an Indiana Department of Corrections offender, who walked away from custody in the afternoon of July 10th was captured. Hornett had in his possession, when he was captured, a backpack that he acquired by unknown means while he was fleeing. It is believed he came into possession of the backpack from one of the local beaches in the area. Indiana State Police Detective Mike Bailey is asking anyone who may be missing a backpack and the contents inside please contact him at 219-690-0039. Hornett, was ultimately tracked to a vacant home he had forcibly entered as part of his effort to evade capture. Once confronted in the Beverly Shores home by members of the IDOC Fugitive Apprehension Unit, along with members of the Indiana State Police and other local law enforcement officers, Hornett surrendered without further resistance. Neither Hornett nor any officers were injured the result of his recapture. As a result of his escape from lawful custody Hornett is expected to face the charge of Escape, and Residential Entry.

Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association Next Public Meeting

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association will be holding their monthly board meeting on Monday, July 15, 2019 at 6 pm.  It will be held at 601 Franklin Street, Suite 100, Michigan City, Indiana. The public is invited to attend.

AUDITOR OF STATE TERA KLUTZ RELEASES 2019 YEAR-END REPORT

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

In outlining Indiana’s 2019 Year-End Report, which highlights the state’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, Auditor of State Tera Klutz, CPA, announced Indiana ended FY19 with a budget surplus of $410 million allowing the state to close the books without utilizing reserves.
The Year-End Report, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, shows Indiana maintaining reserves of approximately $2.3 billion or 13.9% of current year expenditures, representing an increase from FY2018. 

Holcomb Proposes Almost 300 Million Dollars for Paying Down Debt and Major Project Investments

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

Governor Holcomb recently proposed using nearly 300 million dollar to pay down debt and make major project investments according to a press release. Holcomb wants several one-time capital projects and to finish the free-flow of U.S. Hwy. 31 from South Bend to Indianapolis. According to the statement, the state would maintain fiscally responsible reserves of nearly $2 billion or 12.2 percent of expenditures after putting aside money for the following capital projects:

  •         $50 million for the swine barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
  •         $73 million for the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine teaching hospital
  •         $60 million for the Ball State University STEM and Health Professions facilities
  •         $30 million for the Ivy Tech Columbus main building replacement

Willowcreek Road improvements/paving In Portage Area

Posted on: July 14th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

In the Portage area beginning at 6:00 am on Monday, July 15th a crew will be closing down the north and south bound drive lanes (lanes closest to the curb) on Willowcreek Road from Central Avenue all the way to U.S. Hwy 6.
They will be removing the curbing and approaches at all the intersections to install handicap ramps.There will be traffic congestion due to the work/upgrades and lane restrictions. 

La Porte Hospital Invites the Community to “A Taste of Wellness”

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

La Porte Hospital is hosting another Taste of Wellness Event, this time at its Lifeworks Campus at 3777 Frontage Road in Michigan City.  This free event, open to the community will be held on Thursday, August 1 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
The interactive health and wellness event will include healthy food tastings, ask-a-doctor booths, free health screenings, interactive demonstrations, and other health education opportunities.  Participants will also have an opportunity to meet some or the newest members of La Porte Physician Network.  
Registration is encouraged but not required.  Register by calling 888-840-8204 or visit laportehealthfair.com
This community health education event is funded in part by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte. 

Resolution For Bonding of Michigan City Plaza Withdrawn

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

According to a press release sent out Thursday, Mayor Ron Meer and the Project Steering Committee have heard concerns and points of view about the Michigan City Plaza that “need to be taken into consideration before moving forward” and because of this, Mayor Meer has asked for the resolution for the bonding of the Michigan City Plaza be withdrawn at this time. 
The statement says they will continue their outreach and community wide discussions regarding the Michigan City Plaza for all to be heard.  They also stated they will engage additional community partners to ensure financial sustainability of the project and to seek additional funding sources.

Lakes Appreciation Month

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Gov. Eric Holcomb has proclaimed July 2019 as Lakes Appreciation Month. Lakes and reservoirs are among Indiana’s most valuable natural resources and need to be protected for future generations. They provide drinking water, irrigation, energy, recreation, scenic beauty and wildlife habitat. You can assist Indiana and its partners by participating in the Secchi Dip-In, which helps to track water transparency trends and changing water quality. If you would like to participate in the celebration of Indiana’s lakes, check out the North American Lakes Management Society website: www.nalms.org

Body Of Person Missing At Michigan City Beach Recovered In Michigan

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

On July 11th, at around just after 12:30 pm, Chief Todd Taylor, of the Chikaming Township Police Department was dispatched to an address on Victor Ave., concerning a recovery on the beach of Lake Michigan. Chief Taylor arrived on scene and met with Deputy Andrea Crosby, of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, New Buffalo Township patrol, on the beach. On the beach was the body of an unidentified black male subject. While conducting the investigation, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Officer Tyler Brock arrived on scene and identified the body as the missing 17-year-old subject, Rahem L. Mason, who went missing at the Michigan City,Indiana Beach, on July 6th. An autopsy will be performed at the Western Michigan University School of Medicine on July 12th.

LCSO Announces Election Of New Board Officers And Directors

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

The La Porte County Symphony Orchestra (LCSO) Board of Directors recently announced the election of its 2019-2020 Board officers. Leigh Morris, former La Porte Mayor and CEO of La Porte Hospital, will serve as the Symphony’s Chairman of the Board. Jamie Oss, will serve as Vice Chairman.  Cecelia Largura will serve as Treasurer; Jill Klingbeil , Trust Office Manager at Horizon Bank will serve as Secretary and V. Michael Drayton will continue to serve the LCSO as Past Chairman and a member of the Executive Committee. Seven new at large directors were also elected. Other LCSO at large Board members include: Ela Bilderback, Lorri Feldt, Sally Fischer, Howard Jones, Alan Lang, Jane Langford, and Suzan Wade. Timothy King will continue as Executive Director.
This week Sheriff Redman recognized and thanked jail Deputies Dunifin and Swanigan for going above and beyond in their duties cleaning the jail. The two were presented with Certificates of Commendation. Due in part to the extra efforts of the two deputies an inspector in a recent jail inspection noted that the jail areas were in very clean condition.

Indiana’s JAG program continues to excel by again winning top honor

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

Indiana’s Jobs for America’s Graduates program continues to shine as a national leader among its peers, earning a prestigious award for the fifth consecutive year.
JAG Indiana, which is administered by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (DWD), received the “5 of 5” Award July 10 at a national JAG conference in Orlando, Florida. The award recognizes the Indiana program for exceeding five goals set at the national level relating to graduation rates, post-secondary education, job placement and other significant milestones.

Escaped Inmate Caught, Police Looking For Owners Of Backpack

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

Shortly after midnight Thursday morning, Travis Hornett, an Indiana Department of Corrections offender, who walked away from custody in the afternoon of July 10th was captured.  Hornett had in his possession, when he was captured, a backpack that he acquired by unknown means while he was fleeing. It is believed he came into possession of the backpack from one of the local beaches in the area.  Indiana State Police Detective Mike Bailey is asking anyone who may be missing a backpack and the contents inside please contact him at 219-690-0039. Hornett, was ultimately tracked to a vacant home he had forcibly entered as part of his effort to evade capture.  Once confronted in the Beverly Shores home by members of the IDOC Fugitive Apprehension Unit, along with members of the Indiana State Police and other local law enforcement officers, Hornett surrendered without further resistance. Neither Hornett nor any officers were injured the result of his recapture. As a result of his escape from lawful custody Hornett is expected to face the charge of Escape, and Residential Entry. 

Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association Next Public Meeting

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

The Michigan City Urban Enterprise Association will be holding their monthly board meeting on Monday, July 15, 2019 at 6 pm.  It will be held at 601 Franklin Street, Suite 100, Michigan City, Indiana. The public is invited to attend.

AUDITOR OF STATE TERA KLUTZ RELEASES 2019 YEAR-END REPORT

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

In outlining Indiana’s 2019 Year-End Report, which highlights the state’s fiscal year ending June 30, 2019, Auditor of State Tera Klutz, CPA, announced Indiana ended FY19 with a budget surplus of $410 million allowing the state to close the books without utilizing reserves.
The Year-End Report, prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, shows Indiana maintaining reserves of approximately $2.3 billion or 13.9% of current year expenditures, representing an increase from FY2018. 

Willowcreek Road improvements/paving In Portage Area

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

In the Portage area beginning at 6:00 am on Monday, July 15th a crew will be closing down the north and south bound drive lanes (lanes closest to the curb) on Willowcreek Road from Central Avenue all the way to U.S. Hwy 6.
They will be removing the curbing and approaches at all the intersections to install handicap ramps.There will be traffic congestion due to the work/upgrades and lane restrictions. 

Holcomb Proposes Almost 300 Million Dollars for Paying Down Debt and Major Project Investments

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Governor Holcomb recently proposed using nearly 300 million dollar to pay down debt and make major project investments according to a press release. Holcomb wants several one-time capital projects and to finish the free-flow of U.S. Hwy. 31 from South Bend to Indianapolis. According to the statement, the state would maintain fiscally responsible reserves of nearly $2 billion or 12.2 percent of expenditures after putting aside money for the following capital projects:

    $50 million for the swine barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds
    $73 million for the Purdue College of Veterinary Medicine teaching hospital
    $60 million for the Ball State University STEM and Health Professions facilities
    $30 million for the Ivy Tech Columbus main building replacement

EDCMC finalizes 2019-2023 strategic action initiative

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, Indiana (EDCMC) finalized a long-term strategic economic development initiative – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity- highlighting action items towards creating a local sustainable business environment and economic prosperity and equity for all residents following the principles of economic inclusion.

In December 2018, EDCMC announced the organization was embarking upon a process to develop a comprehensive strategic initiative. Since then, EDCMC outlined a plan of action towards a more robust and competitive marketplace in Michigan City. EDCMC commissioned Roderick Miller, President and CEO of Ascendant Global Consulting to coordinate and complete the 2019-2023 Michigan City Strategic Action Plan.

Mayor Ron Meer said, “This long-term strategic initiative aptly titled “An Agenda for Economic Prosperity” will establish atmosphere of optimism, confidence and create an environment of job creation and economic growth that will be of the upmost importance for Michigan City residents. There is a strong cooperation between the Economic Development Corporation Michigan City and City of Michigan City to improve high skills-high wage job opportunities in Michigan City and encourage reinvestment in Michigan City. A major component of this alliance is workforce development and education partnerships that are being formed between our high school, colleges and existing businesses and manufacturers. Preparing and training our citizens, especially our young people, will be the foundation on which a stronger Michigan City will be built. The City of Michigan City is thrilled to be collaborating with the EDCMC to create a next generation economy to benefit all our residents.”

The EDCMC Board of Directors unanimously adopted the following economic development tenets of the Michigan City’s 2019-2023 Strategic Action Plan – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity.

  1. Workforce Development/Talent Attraction–

Michigan City will continue to align workforce development and education with existing, targeted industry needs. The markets that will be most competitive over the long-term will be those that invest in cultivation of their local workforce from kindergarten through graduate school and offers a quality of life to attract new workers to fuel productivity and innovation.

  • Placemaking–

Michigan City’s wide variety of amenities encourages spending and tourism and provide social outlets for residents, but are essential elements to attracting the needed talent to curve outmigration trends and stabilize the local population. Michigan City will make strategic investments to public amenities that showcase the city’s quality of life and creates space to bring different segments of the population together. 

  • Aggressive Storytelling –

Michigan City will craft a story that honors its past, but establishes a solid foundation for the future of the community. The story of Michigan City will resonate with families who have been in the community for generations as well as spark possibilities for a brighter future for newcomers to the city. The story of Michigan City must be one of economic opportunity, business growth and quality of life- the kind of community where one can prosper, socially, financially and personally.

  • Economic Modernization–

Michigan City will reinvent itself to be viable in the coming economic age. The city will pivot from an older industrial city to a next generation community, fusing its traditional efforts in manufacturing and tourism with emerging opportunities in sectors such as robotics and software development. Additionally, there should be a focus on encouraging entrepreneurship to balance attraction efforts with the potential for more organic growth. These efforts need to be carried out in a way that creates more opportunities for all residents of Michigan City regardless of income level, race or age. These quintessential elements of economic transformation are not in conflict but do require a nuanced yet focused approach to achieve.

“This strategic initiative – An Agenda for Economic Prosperity – is community driven and will result in success from the dedication of individuals involved in carrying out specific action plans,” Stephanie Oberlie, President of Harbour Trust & Investment Management and EDCMC Board Chair, stated. “This is a plan that will not be sitting on the shelf. It was developed with an impetus for action as we work collaboratively to attract new residents, investments and jobs to our community and also reinvest in Michigan City. On behalf of the EDCMC Board of Directors, I look forward to working with many community stakeholders as we implement the plan.”

This is the second strategic plan EDCMC has implemented under Hulse’s tenure. The first successfully accomplished are the introduction of coding to MCAS system wide, Compressed Air Academy, annexation of 426 acres for future development, spec building and City comprehensive plan, to list a few. Michigan City also saw over 3,381 new and retained jobs and $356 million in new investment during that time, 2013-2018.

EDCMC Executive Director Clarence Hulse said, “Michigan City has many great assets. We have identified those assets and are using them to promote the city. Working with our partners in the 7-county Northwest Indiana region, we aim to maximize the opportunity with our established businesses and emerging companies so everyone in Michigan City can benefit from the success. We are promoting our city’s downtown, our business parks to attract more business and to create more high quality jobs. The plan, An Agenda for Economic Prosperity, is a blueprint for action to move Michigan City forward, improve the business climate and the economic prosperity and equity for all residents.” We are looking forward to working with the Mayor and City Council to improve economic inclusivity and growth for all our residents.”

EDCMC is a private independent not-for-profit corporation, separate from the City of Michigan City. The EDCMC’s strategic initiative remains its own effort, working in conjunction with various city and community leaders and continually works toward the advancement of all Michigan City residents in the community and economic development arena. For more details on the Michigan City 2019-2023 Strategic Action Plan, visit https://www.edcmc.com/about/annual-report/.

LAPORTE COUNTY’S DATA RESTORATION PROCESS UNDERWAY

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] 1 Comment

Following a meeting held with department heads and elected officials this morning, LaPorte County Commission President Dr. Vidya Kora announced that “decryption” of the county’s data began late yesterday and steps are being taken to reduce the chances of any future “ransomware attack” as occurred on Saturday, July 6th.


Said Dr. Kora, “this particular virus – RYUK – that was used by the bad actors in this attack was particularly insidious in that it jumped over all our firewalls and was able to penetrate backup servers.  Even after conferring with the FBI’s cyber security unit to determine if their decryption codes would work, they determined after several tries their “keys” would not unlock our data, and we were required to pay the ransomware actors to retrieve our data.  A go-between from a firm we hired negotiated for us and negotiated the demands down considerably from the initial demand of $221,000 to a final agreed-upon price of 10 ½ bitcoin or $132,300.  Fortunately, our cybersecurity insurance policy will cover $100,000.00 of that amount.

“My fellow commissioners – Sheila Matias and Rich Mrozinski – and I along with County Council President Randy Novak, IT Director Darlene Hale, Auditor Joie Winski and County Attorney Shaw Friedman met with county department heads and elected officials this morning to assure them that now that we had acquired the decryption key and were  ‘unlocking the encrypted data”  that county computer systems would be gradually unlocked including our email program. We commended IT Director Darlene Hale and her team for their swift action in averting a wider infection of the virus as just 7% of all PC’s were hit, however, the two main domain servers were successfully penetrated which blocked ‘network services’.


“Importantly, our special response team that was hired has assured us that as of 7:30 a.m. today, there is no evidence that personal information of our employees may have been accessed or acquired as a result of the ransomware event.”


Said Dr. Kora, “The County Commission is committed to putting in place protections going forward such as use of a behavioral-based anti-virus software rather than just a signature based anti-virus software, to more employee training on how to avoid accidentally introducing such viruses into our system and other protections such as an annual cyber security audit conducted by a third party.    Unfortunately, in a day and age where cyber-crime has become so lucrative and many private and governmental entities across the country are being ‘extorted’ for their data, an ounce of additional prevention will be worth a pound of cure.”

La Porte Hospital Invites the Community to “A Taste of Wellness”

Posted on: July 12th, 2019 by [email protected] No Comments

La Porte Hospital is hosting another Taste of Wellness Event, this time at its Lifeworks Campus at 3777 Frontage Road in Michigan City.  This free event, open to the community will be held on Thursday, August 1 from 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. 
The interactive health and wellness event will include healthy food tastings, ask-a-doctor booths, free health screenings, interactive demonstrations, and other health education opportunities.  Participants will also have an opportunity to meet some or the newest members of La Porte Physician Network.  
Registration is encouraged but not required.  Register by calling 888-840-8204 or visit laportehealthfair.com
This community health education event is funded in part by the Healthcare Foundation of La Porte.