April Unemployment Rates Tumble

Indiana Workforce DevelopmentStarke County’s April unemployment rate hits a seven-year low. The local jobless rate tumbled from 7-point-6 percent in March to 5-point-8 percent in April. That’s the lowest it’s been since November of 2007. All 92 counties saw drops in unemployment, according to figures released by the state. Continue reading

SCILL Center to Honor Graduating Students

SCILLThe Starke County Initiative for Lifelong Learning is hosting an award ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of their 2015 class. The program takes place tonight at 1300 Kloeckner Drive in the Knox Industrial Park and will commence at 6 pm (CST) .

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Nominations Sought for Bicentennial Torch Relay Torchbearers

Indiana BicentennialThe Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay is accepting nominations from the public for torchbearers in each of the state’s 92 counties. Nominations recognize Hoosiers who demonstrate exceptional public service, excellence in their profession, acts of heroism or volunteer service to their neighborhood, community, region or state, according to a news release from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development. Continue reading

Healthcare Careers Camp Scheduled in June

IU HealthThe second annual Healthcare Careers Camp is set for June. High school juniors and seniors interested in a career in healthcare are encouraged to attend the week-long event.

Students will be able to immerse themselves in real-life experiences of health professionals at Indiana University Health LaPorte Hospital. Topics include nursing, becoming a physician, professionalism in the workplace, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, physical therapy, CPR certification, heart and vascular care, and sports medicine. Participants will have an opportunity to interact with physicians, healthcare providers and executives, and will have direct access to observing patient care.

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AAA Encourages Safe Travel This Memorial Day Weekend

AAAOfficials with the AAA Hoosier Motor Club predicts a busy travel holiday this Memorial Day weekend. They predict Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the travel period which is defined as Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25.

Most drivers will likely pay the lowest Memorial Day gas prices in at least five years.

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Campers Beware of Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer

This week marks educational opportunity for conservationists, especially when it comes to handling firewood.

EAB Awareness week was declared by Indiana Governor Mike Pence to help bring more attention to the issue, changing the state’s forest landscape. EAB, otherwise known as the Emerald Ash Borer, is a microscopic beetle that feeds off Ash Trees. Continue reading

Conservation Officers Remind Boaters to Be Safe

DNR law enforcementThe extended weekend provides an opportunity for families to get their boats on the water.

This week, however, Indiana Conservation Officers will be joining in observing National Safe Boating week. The state of Indiana says Memorial Day weekend is considered the unofficial kickoff to boating season. Continue reading

Sen. Donnelly: Partners Necessary in Fight Against ISIS

Joe Donnelly

Senator Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is providing insight into a few issues facing congress.

Indiana’s Democratic Senator spoke with reporters on Wednesday afternoon during a conference call to address expanded mental healthcare for former and active military service members.
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Sen. Donnelly Care Package Looks to Increase Mental Health Services

Joe Donnelly

Senator Joe Donnelly

U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly is looking to provide additional mental healthcare to members of the armed services.

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Donnelly said the “Care Package” legislation – which is part of the broader National Defense Authorization Act – aims to increase access to healthcare services provided through the Department of Defense and community healthcare providers.
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LaCrosse Grain Elevator Decisions in Holding Pattern

Boom 28A grain storage company is still awaiting reports from several key agencies to make any decisions.

More than one month has passed since a Co-Alliance grain elevator – used for hog feed – exploded in LaCrosse. Flames took fewer than 30 minutes to extinguish, but four employees were injured, being treated for burn wounds. All had been released from the hospital by early May.
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Two-County Pursuit Lands Union Mills Woman in Jail

A Union Mills woman faces a felony charge after initiating a pursuit with police that spanned two counties.

The incident started around 3:15 p.m. CT Tuesday afternoon when LaPorte County Sheriff’s Officers were notified of a vehicle involved in a hit and run and headed into the county from St. Joseph County. The vehicle driven by 56-year-old Kim Echterling failed to stop on State Road 2 at County Road 300 East after LaPorte County Captain Dave Pflughaupt attempted to end the pursuit. The vehicle continued into the City of LaPorte.

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Road Rage Possibly To Blame For Fatal LaPorte County Crash

Authorities in LaPorte County say road rage may have been a factor in a fatal two-vehicle Sunday night crash near Union Mills. Michael Edwards, 38, of LaPorte, died en route to a medical helicopter that had been summoned to the crash site in the 8500 block of County Road 600 West. The second driver, Bryan Baker, 21, of Hobart, was treated at IU Health LaPorte Hospital and released. Continue reading

Overnight Crash Near South Central High School Claims a Life

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a two-vehicle fatality crash. It happened just after 9 p.m. last night about a mile north of South Central High School near Union Mills. Authorities say one driver was pronounced dead at the crash site. The other was taken to IU Health LaPorte Hospital. Continue reading

Farmers Reminded of Conservation Certification Filing Deadline

Specialty crop producers who applied for enhanced crop insurance this year have a deadline approaching to turn in necessary paperwork. Conservation compliance forms must be filed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture by June 1. Farmers who do not complete the form will not be eligible for federal crop insurance payments. The 2014 farm bill gave specialty crop producers the option to apply for enhanced crop coverage through the federal Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, commonly known as NAP. In order to receive payments, farmers must certify they will not plant crops on erodible land unless previously approved by the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Applicants must also agree not to drain, dredge, level or fill any wetlands on their property. Continue reading

Ivy Tech’s Society of Innovators Launches Expedition Innovation 2015: “A Call for Nominations”

 An effort is under way to find the “hidden innovators” of Northwest Indiana. The Ivy Tech Community College Society of Innovators recently announced its seven-county “Expedition Innovation 2015 – ‘A Call for Nominations.’ Between June 2nd and 17th officials with the society will visit each of the seven counties in the region to explain their goals in greater detail. They will be at Kemin Industries in rural North Judson on June 10th and at the Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development office in Winamac the following day.

NIPSCO Director of Economic Development Don Babcock serves on the Society of Innovators board. He says innovation is the foundation of our economy. He adds there are innovators out there who are below the radar that are making important contributions to our region, state and world. He says the Society of Innovators wants to find them. Continue reading

Indiana Hosts Second Free Fishing Day

The state of Indiana will be allowing those without a fishing license the opportunity to cast into public waterways.

Normally, anglers would need a license or a trout/salmon stamp in order to fish in Indiana. The state’s Free Fishing Day, however, will take place on Saturday. Indiana residents do not need a fishing license or a trout/salmon stamp to fish for the day.

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IRS Scams Increasingly Common According to Indiana AG

scamThe Indiana Attorney General’s Office says IRS phone scams are leading their list of complaints in 2015.

Hoosiers may be familiar with the scam if they receive a call from the IRS demanding payment for past-due taxes. According to the Attorney General’s office, scammers might threaten arrest and jail time if payment is not received. Investigators largely say victims take drastic steps, fearing possible IRS action.

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