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Today's News

Bullet Found Inside South Central High School Locker Room

A .22 caliber bullet was found in the girls PE locker room at South Central High School, which caused a lockdown of the school at 10:15 a.m. Wednesday.

The bullet was placed into the custody of a staff member, and the school’s resource officer was notified. A search ensued. Members of the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department responded to the school and served as security as staff members looked through every student locker. The PE lockers were also thoroughly searched. Nothing of a suspicious nature was located. The lockdown was lifted after two hours.

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LaPorte Criminal Justice Students Eligible for Scholarship

A scholarship will be offered to a LaPorte County student planning to study criminal justice. The scholarship is in honor of the memory of Patrolman Neil Thompson. Thompson is the only LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department officer killed in the line of duty.

A fund was established, and a scholarship created to honor fallen policeman. The $1,000 scholarship had been awarded to family members of the sheriff’s department, but Sheriff John Boyd is opening up the opportunity to students outside the department.

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Two Arrested in Burglary Investigation

A pair of suspects was arrested Wednesday in connection with a burglary investigation.

The initial investigation began as an unauthorized control of a vehicle. Police officers had been looking for a vehicle that was stolen by Stephanie Pahl, 28. She had allegedly taken the car from her mother. Pahl was wanted on a warrant for possession of a controlled substance.

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Officer Injured in Altercation during Traffic Stop

Two Munster residents were arrested late Tuesday night after the driver of the vehicle got into a physical confrontation with the arresting officer.

According to a release from the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department, a car driven by Travis Dade, 23, was traveling at 80 mph in a 55 mph zone. Sgt. Brett Swanson stopped the vehicle at Range Road and U.S. 6 near the town of Kingsbury. Sgt. Swanson asked Dade to step out of the vehicle after the officer smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle.

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LaPorte County Man Found Trapped under Tractor

A LaPorte County man was found dead after his ex-wife discovered him trapped under a farm tractor in the backyard of his home on Tuesday afternoon.

LaPorte County Sheriff’s deputies were called to a residence in the 16000 South block of State Road 39, approximately three miles south and east of Hanna. The ex-wife of the victim had gone to check on the 78-year-old man’s well-being and found him on the property.

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LaPorte County Man Found Dead in Apartment

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department and the coroner are investigating the death of a 57-year-old Michigan City man. The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, was found dead inside his apartment Monday morning. Police were let into the apartment by the manager of the Woodland Crossing Apartment Complex after neighbors had called to report inactivity.

Investigators from the sheriff’s detective bureau were called to assist at the scene, according to a sheriff’s department news release. Investigators do not have any information that foul play was involved based on evidence at the scene. However, police say they are waiting for more information from the coroner before making a final determination.

Relatives of the decedent have been notified.

Brothers Charged with Armed Robbery

Kevin Pons

Kevin Pons

Giancarlo Pons

Giancarlo Pons

Two people were arrested in an armed robbery incident in LaPorte this week.

The pair, Giancarlo Pons, 21, and Kevin Pons, 20, of LaPorte, entered the Kentucky Fried Chicken on Pine Lake Avenue, went into the office area and allegedly stole a large amount of money while pointing a handgun at employees. The brothers fled the store on foot.

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Michigan City Man Dies after He Darts in Front of Car

A Michigan City man was pronounced dead at the scene of a car/pedestrian accident in the 9800 North block of U.S. Highway 12 early this morning.

According to an investigation by the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department, Richard Schmuhl, 83, was attempting to cross the street when he suddenly darted out in front of an oncoming passenger car. Schmuhl was struck by the driver’s side of the car. Officers found him in the highway and he was pronounced dead by an official with the LaPorte County Coroner’s Office.

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Law Enforcement Agencies Begin Operation Pull Over Blitz

Law enforcement agencies across Indiana are taking part in an Operation Pull Over blitz through the end of the month. Patrol officers will be looking for drunk drivers and seatbelt violators.

Last November 490 alcohol-related crashes occurred in Indiana, resulting in 224 injuries and 13 fatalities. A total of 735 drivers were arrested statewide for driving under the influence, and 9.504 seatbelt citations were issued to drivers and passengers who were not buckled up. Continue reading

LaPorte Sheriff to Host Halloween Event

Halloween-trick-or-treatThe sixth annual Trick-or-Treat and Halloween Safety event is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 31, hosted by LaPorte County Sheriff Michael Mollenhauer.

The event promotes safety for children while trick-or-treating in the community. Children attending the event will receive a reflective trick-or-treat bag with an activity book and crayons. A reflector badge will also be supplied. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

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LaPorte Police Participating Special Enforcement This Week

LaPorte County police will be stepping up patrols this week for a traffic safety project called “Operation Stop Arm”.

Sheriff’s deputies have partnered with Michigan City officers and Indiana State Police Troopers to make drivers more aware of school bus loading and unloading during this National School Bus Safety Week.

Driver who disregard stopped buses with stop arms extended and flashing lights can be cited on a Class A infraction of arm signal device: duty to obey. That carries a fine of up to $10,000. A driver can be arrested for a Class B misdemeanor offense of reckless driving if the driver recklessly passes a school bus while loading or unloading students. That offense carries up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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Three Injured in LaPorte Accident

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department investigated a two vehicle accident on Johnson Road at the Indiana Toll Road on Tuesday morning.

Deputies were called to the scene at 8:29 a.m. CT where a 31-year-old driver from LaPorte was stopped at the stop sign, entered the intersection and was struck by a pickup truck. The pickup hit the driver’s side of the car, according to police. The driver and her children were transported to IU Health LaPorte Hospital. One child was subsequently airlifted to South Bend Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injures.

Johnson Road between County Road 400 West and County 500 West was closed for two hours while officers reconstructed the accident scene as part of their investigation.

The driver was cited for failure to yield the right of way.

LaPorte Police Investigate Burglary

LaPorte Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a burglary that occurred at a residence in the 8000 W. block of County Road 400 North.

The two suspects left the area on foot by the time the officers arrived at the scene Friday morning. One of the suspects was taken into custody who was found walking along the road. That suspect had an active arrest warrant.

A second suspect ran into a wooded area adjacent to Creek Ridge County Park, according to a news release. A K9 unit responded to the scene and a track was initiated.

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Fatality Accident Reportedly Caused by Impaired Driver

Daniel Grigalanz

Daniel Grigalanz

A LaPorte County man was arrested after reportedly driving under the influence and causing an accident that resulted in the death of his passenger Wednesday night.

LaPorte County sheriff’s deputies responded to a single vehicle crash in the 0900 North block of County Road 640 West where a passenger car left the roadway and hit a tree, according to a news release. The passenger, Lanny Franks, 47, of LaPorte was transported to St. Anthony Memorial Hospital in Michigan City where he was pronounced dead.

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One Dead in Two Vehicle Accident in LaPorte County

One person has died as a result of a two vehicle crash this morning at 0101 North U.S. Highway 421 in LaPorte County.

LaPorte County Deputy Coroner Mark Huffman pronounced one driver dead while two others in another vehicle were transported by LaPorte County EMS to St. Anthony’s Hospital in Michigan City for treatment and observation. The extent of their injuries is unknown, according to police.

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Non-Compliant Sex Offender Found Living Next to Day Care Facility

Michael Sofranko

Michael Sofranko

A Michigan City man was arrested on Tuesday for being a non-compliant sex offender.

In August, officers found that Michael Sofranko, 36, was no longer living at his registered address and did not complete his annual registration with the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department.

Sofranko was convicted of a felony child molesting charge in LaPorte Circuit Court in 1998. He was also identified as an offender against children. As a result, he is required to register as a sex offender with law enforcement until 2022.

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Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event Scheduled This Weekend

Hazardous Household Waste trailerThe Lake Michigan Household Hazardous Waste District is conducting a collections event at the La Porte County Fairgrounds on Saturday Aug. 23rd from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Items that can be disposed of include, ammunition, flares, fireworks, aerosols, automotive supplies, batteries, corrosives, expired medications, mercury containing products, florescent tubes, thermometers, thermostats, paint, medical sharps, pesticides as well as other poisons, and waste fuels.  Continue reading

Household Hazardous Waste Event Planned in LaPorte County

LaPorte-TRIADNeedles, syringes and anything sharp can be disposed of during the household hazardous waste collection event on Saturday, Aug. 23 in LaPorte.

Personnel at the LaPorte County Sheriff’s Department have had a recent influx of the disposal of needles and syringes in the lobby’s drop box. To reduce a health hazard, cap the needles and place them in an empty plastic detergent bottle and dispose of them in one of the seven hazardous waste collection events held by the LaPorte County Solid Waste District. Free hazard stickers are available to place on those bottles to warn of its contents.

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