Local News

Ice Sculptors Add Crown Jewels to Winter Fest

(La Porte, IN) - A fresh blanket of snow added just the right touch to La Porte’s annual Winter Fest, and beautiful ice sculptures now adorn Plaza 618 like crystal jewels.

 

On Friday afternoon ice sculptors unveiled their creations at the corner of Lincolnway and Monroe.

 

Howard Busfield of South Bend was one of the carvers. He created a pinball machine and a ticket booth. “We had somewhat of a circus theme today,” he said. Other sculptures include a lion, circus wagon, and a juggler. “It’s actually a little warm for carving,” Busfield said, as temperatures hovered around freezing. “But everything should hold up for people to see it.”

 

Busfield has been carving ice for about 18 years. But Matt Patton is new to the craft. “This is my second weekend,” said Patton as he was packing up his tools. “I carved one last weekend, and this is my second one. I’m a lot happier with this one than the first one. So far everyone has been able to tell what it is, so that’s a good thing.”

 

Patton carved an elephant on a ball. He works for City’s Pure Ice, which provides the raw material for the sculptures. NIPSCO and Full Tilt Arcade also sponsored the ice carving.

 

City’s Pure Ice owner Bud Lies, a longtime ice carver himself, sat this year out nursing an arm injury. But he found a protégé in Patton. “Last week he was guiding me and coaching me," said Paton of his mentor. "He lets me know when the carvings are coming up and where to be, and I’m looking forward to getting better each time.”

 

The carved ice is on display at Plaza 618 in downtown La Porte.

Bulldogs Bite Slicers 68-51

Coach Jordan Heckard stressed the importance of a good start before Friday’s game at Crown Point. He got the opposite. La Porte was held scoreless until the 3:13 mark of the first quarter while the Bulldogs were scoring the game’s first 15 points. La Porte ran off the next 5, cutting the lead to 10 but that was as close as the Slicers would get all evening falling 68-51. 

 

Crown Point sharpshooter AJ Lux scored 14 of his game-high 26 points in that first period, hitting 4 of his 6 three-pointers in the opening quarter. La Porte trailed 24-9 after one.

 

The game evened out in the second and third quarters with CP leading 35-18 at the half and 50-31 after three quarters. Both coaches substituted liberally in the fourth period.

The Slicers were led in scoring by Ja’ Meriyon Cross’ with 10 points. Kyle Kirkham, saddled with foul trouble before fouling out halfway thru the fourth, had 9 points. Malik Corley and Dylan Salisbury each finished with 8, RJ Anglin chipped in 5 while Tommy Samuelson had 4 points. Brennan Balka, hit a three-pointer and Dominic Thomson hit both of his free throws.

This was Crown Point’s ninth straight win over La Porte. The Slicers last defeated the Bulldogs 58-53 in 2014. LP’s last win at Crown Point was in 2010.

 

The Bulldog’s Conner Cotton had 9 points. He is the son of Slicer baseball Hall of Famer and basketball standout Jason Cotton.

Crown Point honored their 1998 regional championship team, the first year of class basketball. They are the only Bulldog team to win a regional. La Porte was in that semi-state, falling to Elkhart Central in the morning game. Crown Point lost to Marion in their semi-state opener.

 

Dylan Salisbury was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game. 

The Slicers, who are 10-6 and 1-3 in the DAC, get right back into it tonight at Slicer gym. The Concord Minutemen come to town JV tipoff is 5:15.  The Varsity game follows with a scheduled 6:45 start.

JV TEAM FALLS 66-40

 

The Junior Varsity game was a preview of the Varsity game. La Pore fell behind 21-4 after one quarter and never challenged before falling 66-40. Kevin Konieczny led LP with 10 points, Sawyer Tonagel had 9, and Eli Taylor finished with 8.

 

Photos courtesy of Susan Anglin.

Internet and Tech Discounts Available

(Washington, D.C.) - You may qualify for reduced internet service and/or a computer discount and not even know it.

 

The Federal Communications Commission offers the discounts through the Affordable Connectivity Program. The benefit provides up to $30 off internet service and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a computer or tablet purchased through a participating provider.

 

A household can qualify for the program in one of the following ways:

 

  • if your household income is 200% or less than the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
  • if someone in your household participates in a federal assistance program, such as SNAP (Food Stamps), Medicaid, WIC, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), federal housing assistance, free or reduced school lunch.
  • if someone in your household receives a veteran's pension or survivor benefits.
  • if you qualify for tribal benefits.

 

Go to AffordableConnectivity.gov to submit an application.

Cubs Go to Bat for More State Funding

(South Bend, IN) - The South Bend Cubs are pitching a proposal to state lawmakers to further fund improvements to Four Winds Field.

 

Senate Bill 326 would earmark up to $100 million over 20 years for arts and recreation development. $50 million would go to Four Winds Field improvements. The other half would benefit facilities like the Morris Theater and the Century Center.

 

The Cubs already benefit from local tax revenues. Senate Bill 326 would more than double that.

 

Possible stadium improvements include an upper deck, small convention space, and a new scoreboard.

Hutchens Found Guilty in New Carlisle Murder

(South Bend, IN) - Guilty was the verdict handed down to 16-year-old Anthony Hutchens of New Carlisle on Thursday afternoon.

 

After many legal road bumps over the past two years, Hutchens was tried and convicted this week in the molestation and death of 6-year-old Grace Ross behind their New Carlisle apartment complex in March of 2021.

 

Hutchens could receive anywhere from 48-to-81 years in prison for the crimes. But as a juvenile, he could also be released in 2-to-6 years.

 

Sentencing is scheduled for March 31st. Hutchens’ defense lawyers have said they plan to appeal the verdict and push for the case to go back to juvenile court.

Pancake Breakfast for 4-H

(La Porte, IN) - The Kiwanis Club of La Porte will fire up the griddles this weekend for the return of their popular All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast to raise money for La Porte County 4-H youth programs.

 

In its 102nd year, the Kiwanis Club of La Porte will offer pancakes, eggs, sausage, coffee and juice for an optional donation at the La Porte Armory from 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Sunday.

 

The armory at 2391 Indiana 2 is on the west side of La Porte.

 

“This is a great opportunity to serve the community and give to an organization that lives up to our mission of improving the world, one child and one community at a time while also enjoying a great breakfast provided by dedicated volunteers,” said Mark Manering, chairman of the event.

 

The fundraiser will provide support for the Purdue Extension GEM (Get Experience in Mindfulness) curriculum run by La Porte County 4-H, officials said. 

 

The Kiwanis Club of La Porte welcomes new members wanting to serve their community. Information about becoming a member is available on our website at www.kiwaniscluboflaporte.org, through messaging the group’s Facebook page or by attending their bi-monthly meetings.

Inspection to Reveal Condition of Courthouse

(La Porte, IN) - The county courthouse in downtown La Porte will be given a professional examination in response to concerns about the condition of the 1890’s structure.

 

La Porte County Commission President Joe Haney said problems with water in the basement have been allowed to linger under previous administrations.  An inspection has been ordered to find out if the water has caused any structural issues.


Haney went further, stating there are no obvious signs of major deterioration but that he feels it’s important to find out for certain for the short term and long term.

 

“We have to know for sure. We have to do our due diligence,” he said.

 

Haney asserts that properly maintaining the courthouse must be given high priority.

 

“That is such an historical building. It’s the seat of county government.  It’s what people see when they come here and it’s one of the most building courthouses in the state,” he said.

 

Courthouse renovation is planned once the financing of the recent expansion and renovation of the Michigan City courthouse is retired.  That could be 10-years or more from now or sooner depending on how fast purse string holders want to pay down the debt.

 

Haney said another reason for the inspection is to determine how long the La Porte courthouse renovation can wait before the work has to be done. 

 

Local Hoopster a McDonald's All American

(La Porte County, IN) - A girls’ basketball player attending school in La Porte County has been chosen to play in the 2023 McDonald’s All-American Games.

 

Ashlynn Shade is from La Lumiere School, a college prep school with a regional schedule and talent from outside the area.

Shade transferred from Noblesville, IN. to play her senior year in high school at La Lumiere on Wilhelm Road north of U.S. 20.

 

She is committed to playing next year at the University of Connecticut.

 

Shade, a 5’ 11” guard, was selected to play in the girls’ game from more than 700 players nominated by some of the nation’s top analysts, prep scouts, media, and coaches.

 

This year’s McDonald’s All-American games are scheduled for March 28 in Houston. The girls’ game is scheduled at 6:30 p.m. (ET) and will be televised on ESPN2.

Weather Possible Factor in Fatality

(Berrien County, MI) - Road conditions could have been a factor in a fatal head-on crash Thursday with a semi-truck in Berrien County, Michigan. The late morning accident happened on U.S. 12 between Galien and Buchanan.

 

According to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, an eastbound sport utility vehicle was attempting to a pass yhrsemi-truck from behind on the wet and slushy surface. Police said the driver of the SUV lost control and ran off the roadway to the left.  The driver after regaining control of the vehicle was hit head-on by an oncoming semi. The semi came to rest on its side in a ditch on top of the SUV.

 

So far, the name of the deceased operating the passenger vehicle has not been released.

 

The accident remains under investigation.

New Pilot in Economic Development Cockpit

(La Porte County, IN) - All new faces and a different approach have been placed behind the wheel to steer LaPorte County quicker into a more prosperous future.

           

AME Consulting out of LaPorte is in charge of what’s now called The Center for Economic Development, Planning and Government Affairs.

Members from the company have moved into what used to be the La Porte County Office of Economic and Community Development.  Paul Vincent, principal owner and director of engineering for the firm, is in charge of the office at the La Porte County Annex building at 555 Michigan Ave.   

 

The La Porte County Commissioners under new leadership parted ways with the firm once responsible for creating new jobs and former executive director of the office, Tony Rodriguez.

 

County Commission President Joe Haney said AME Consulting has the resources to perform the multiple tasks involved in attracting new companies and helping existing firms succeed and grow.  AME Consulting will also operate under a new structure bringing county departments with various roles to play in economic development seamlessly into the process.

 

For example, Haney said everyone previously involved in areas like recruitment, infrastructure development and planning worked separately, which caused delays in getting projects started and completed.  The hope now is to save a considerable amount of time by having all key players together under one umbrella.

 

“LaPorte County has languished for too long.  Now, for the first time in a long time, we’re finally opening the county up and making a much more conducive environment for business, growth and expansion,” he said.

 

One of the directives given to the new economic development team is to pursue more grants to help offset the cost to taxpayers and the private sector on new investment and maintaining roads.

 

Haney said he also wants to increase the amount of grants secured for providing more access to high speed internet.

 

He feels LaPorte County can do better than it did last year in placing 62nd out of 92 counties in state funds secured for broadband extension.  Haney said another hope is to work on economic development more with all of the municipalities.

 

The contract with AME Consulting is for six months, which can be renewed based on performance.

 

In comparison, Rodriguez and his personnel worked under a one-year deal in each of the four years they were in the office.

 

Haney also noted AME Consulting will be paid about $50,000 less than the previous firm if their contract is extended for the rest of the year.

 

“It’s time for LaPorte County government to start thinking more like a private company where we need to see results. We need to see things more focused and not tolerate some of the stagnation and just poor performance,” he said.

$100,000 Gift for New Youth Center

(Michigan City, IN) - A $100,000 donation has been made to help construct a new facility for the Boys and Girls Clubs of La Porte County.

 

The funds given by the 1St Source Foundation will go toward the purchase of real estate to construct a 35,000 square foot building in Michigan City.

 

The Boys and Girls Clubs branch in Michigan City will relocate there from the old Elston High School building where it currently operates from a section of the former school.

 

“We are extremely grateful to 1st Source Foundation for their early support of our capital campaign and expansion efforts,” said Michelle Shirk, Executive Director of the BGCLPC.

 

The new facility will include a full court gymnasium, cafeteria and spacious program areas for several different age groups.  A dedicated Teen Center will also be provided.

 

Shirk said the new facility will house up to 350 children. In comparison, the existing space can accommodate no more than 200 children and doesn’t provide a gymnasium.

 

The foundation is an entity created by 1st Source Bank to enhance and strengthen the social, economic and cultural fabric of communities served by the financial institution.

 

The BGCLPC has expanded in recent years into La Porte, Westville and Kingsford Heights in response to a growing need for such facilities for children after school and during the summer. 

Watch Collection Thief Could Face Time

(La Porte County, IN) - A woman could do some time for allegedly taking a collection of watches and other items. Ashley Sheets, 28, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Level 5 Felony Burglary.

 

According to court documents, she and Matthew Rancatore, 34, were hired to complete drywall and painting work on a newly remodeled home in the 5700 block of West 300 North.  They were fired on December 16th for not completing the work on schedule.

 

The next day, police were called to the property because of items stolen from a barn and garage during break-ins. Among the missing items were two cases containing more than 70 watches.

 

Police were later informed Sheets of Chesterton sold one of the stolen watches to a pawn shop and tried selling other watches to the store, all matching the description of the ones taken in the burglary.

 

According to court documents, police are still investigating to determine if Rancatore was involved in the burglary and whether he maintained a storage unit possibly containing stolen items.

 

Rancatore of La Porte was recently arrested in Kingsford Heights after allegedly found with fentanyl inside a syringe along with methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana.

Meth Bust from Reckless Driver Complaint

(Michigan City, IN) - A driver traveling on the wrong side of the roadway in Michigan City was stopped and allegedly found with a large amount of methamphetamine. Craig Hahn, 45, was pulled over Monday night in the area of 6th and Pine streets.

 

According to police, an officer responding to a complaint of a reckless driver with no headlights on noticed Hahn exhibiting symptoms of possible impairment during the traffic stop. Hahn, though, denied using any foreign substances.

 

With help from a K-9 dog, two plastic bags containing just over 5 grams of methamphetamine were recovered from the vehicle.  Also found was a plastic tube Hahn admitted to using for ingesting methamphetamine through his nostrils. The officer also observed a case of beer in the vehicle.

 

The Minnesota man was charged with Level 5 Felony Possession of Methamphetamine and Class C Misdemeanor Possession of Paraphernalia.

All New Faces in Party Ranks

(La Porte County, IN) - The Democrat Party in La Porte County is now under totally new leadership. For about two months now, the party has had a new Chairman, Angie Henzman of Michigan City. 

 

Wednesday night, the party, during a caucus of precinct committeepersons countywide, elected the rest of its officers.

 

Bryant Dabney, a City Councilman in Michigan City, was elected Party Vice Chairman.   Corey Campbell was elected Treasurer and Izabelle Galvin was chosen as Secretary.

 

Doctor Vidya Kora, the former Democrat Party chairman and all other party officers, resigned following a near-Republican sweep in La Porte County in the November election.

 

Some Republicans have described the party as in disarray.

 

Henzman, though, said the resignations were voluntary and views the changes within the party as a “new day.”   

 

“So people feel like it’s a very dark time and I feel like it’s a time that we have great opportunity to create and to building something. I’m excited about it,” she said. 

 

More Thefts from Vehicles Reported

(La Porte County, IN) - Police are hoping to solve a recent string of thefts from motor vehicles outside La Porte.

 

According to La Porte County Police, deputies since January 1st have investigated 12 thefts of miscellaneous items from motor vehicles parked in subdivisions and neighborhoods near Crichfield Elementary School and in rural Center Township.

 

The doors were not locked on some of the vehicles, but windows were shattered to get inside vehicles that were locked, police stated further.

 

It appears all of the thefts and acts of vandalism have occurred during the overnight hours. 

 

In one of the cases, an estimated $1,650 in power tools and other belongings were removed from a take home work vehicle of a NIPSCO employee on County Road 350 North, according to a police report.

 

A wallet containing $100 in cash and three credit cards were removed from a vehicle parked close to a residence after both side windows were shattered in the 600 block of Holton Road. According to police, two other reports filed the same day on January 21 involved thefts of items such as $45 in cash, a portable Blue Tooth speaker and Playstation also on Holton Road and the 100 block of Williams Avenue.

 

Authorities are encouraging area residents, along with any visiting family members and friends, to remove all valuable property from inside their motor vehicles and lock the doors.  People should also call 911 immediately if they observe any suspicious individuals and vehicles or hear any unusual noises.

Once Dangerous Intersection Now Safe

(La Porte County, IN) - It used to be one of the most dangerous intersections in La Porte County, but that’s no longer the case. La Porte County Sheriff Ron Heeg said U.S. 20 and Indiana 2 has even dropped the top ten most dangerous list.

 

A few years ago, the traditional state highway intersection once guarded by traffic lights was converted into something similar to a roundabout to eliminate the risk of vehicles crossing into the path of oncoming traffic.

 

Originally, Heeg said experts closely involved with the reconstruction believed the number of accidents at that location near Rolling Prairie would not be reduced but there would be a reduction in fatal and serious injury crashes.

 

Heeg said he’s surprised that hardly any accidents have occurred there since the change.

 

“It’s a great thing,” he said.

 

Heeg said U.S. 20 and Indiana 39; Lincolnway and Indiana Avenue in downtown La Porte and U.S 20 and U.S. 35 are still among the most dangerous intersections in La Porte County.

 

He also said rumble strips put in by the Indiana Department of Transportation on center lines and fog lines has reduced the number of accidents on highways where they have been in installed in recent years.

Man Rolls Snake Eyes at 7-Eleven

(La Porte, IN) - The numbers were not lucky for a suspected narcotics user during a drama-filled bust at the 7-Eleven store in La Porte. Michael Schackart, 55, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Possession of Methamphetamine and Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated.

 

The La Porte man was stopped late in the night on January 9 for having a false license plate and driving left of center.  After he pulled into the gas station convenience store, the officer noticed signs of drug impairment like slurred speech, stuttering at times and dilated eyes, police said. 

 

Schackart kept asking if he could go inside to use the bathroom and cash what he described as winning lottery tickets.  However, the officer told him to remain and he complied with his orders.

 

Police said the officer also spotted inside his vehicle about a dozen or more social security and debit cards belonging to other people.  According to court documents, he began stuttering even worse when asked about the cards and claimed he was having an anxiety attack.

 

Suspecting he had drugs, the officer shook his pants only for bag of methamphetamine to fall from his pantleg. 

 

The officer was trying to place Schackart into his police vehicle when he began shaking seemingly uncontrollably and claimed to be having a stroke.  He was taken to the hospital then to the La Porte County Jail after receiving medical clearance several hours later.

Jailed Again for Marijuana

(Michigan City, IN) - A suspected drug dealer was arrested and a wad of cash seized during a traffic stop in Michigan City. Ian Williams, 20, of Michigan City is now charged.

 

According to police, Williams on January 19 was stopped for failing to use a turn signal in the area of Pine and Franklin streets, where the approaching officer was met by an overwhelming smell of marijuana despite a can of air freshener in the vehicle.

 

A plastic bag stuffed with one ounce of marijuana along with several cartridges containing THC oil were allegedly seized during a search of the vehicle.  Police said two bundles of cash and money from his wallet totaling more than $1,300 were also confiscated. A scale and a large amount of clear plastic bags were among the other items turning up in the search.

 

According to court records, Williams already has two marijuana related convictions within the past six months.

Federal Lawsuit Against New Prosecutor

(Hammond, IN) - A federal lawsuit alleging wrongful termination has been filed against the new La Porte County Prosecutor. The legal action was taken at U.S. District Court in Hammond by two employees of the former prosecutor, John Lake.

 

Nancy Hawkins and Anthony McClintock allege they were let go by current prosecutor, Sean Fagan, because they were supporters of the former prosecutor in last year’s campaign.

 

Fagan, a Republican, defeated Lake, a Democrat, by nearly 1,000 votes in the November election and officially took office on January 1st.

 

According to the lawsuit, Fagan violated the former employees’ freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by retaliating against them for supporting the candidate of their choice during the campaign. Fagan, during the campaign, filed a police report alleging intimidation against a Michigan City man for his words on Facebook. McClintock, a retired Michigan City Police officer, was an investigator for the prosecutor’s office at the time. McClintock looked into the allegations and ruled there was no intimidation.  The lawsuit alleges that was another reason for McClintock being terminated.

 

The Plaintiffs are seeking no less than $500,000 in damages apiece and a return to their former positions. When contacted, Fagan said he could not respond to the lawsuit since the case is still pending before the court.

Stolen Safe Found in Fleeing Vehicle

(Michigan City, IN) - Charges are filed in connection with a high speed chase and manhunt throughout much of Michigan City. Justin McColly, 39, is charged in La Porte Superior Court 1 with resisting law enforcement and other counts.

 

According to court documents, officers at about 4 a.m. on January 18th were assisting a disabled vehicle on Twin Road near U.S. 12 when a vehicle with a very loud exhaust system drastically reduced its speed while traveling past their location. One of the officers began following the vehicle and, eventually, tried to make a traffic stop, but the driver accelerated. Speeds reached up to 120 miles per hour as the pursuit ventured down U.S. 12, Karwick Road, U.S. 20 and other roads like 400 West.

 

Police said McColly blew through a number of traffic lights and stop signs and drove between trees in a yard in his effort to elude law enforcement.  At one point, the vehicle driven by McColly traveled sideways in the curves of a curvy road with the tires smoking from the high speeds.

 

Eventually, stop sticks placed by an officer flattened at least one of the suspect’s tires on East Michigan Boulevard near the police station.   The pursuit continued down numerous streets in the downtown area despite the flattened tire falling off the rim.

 

McColly with sparks flying up from the rim stopped and allegedly fled on foot in the area of U.S. 12 and 8th Street  He was later captured inside a residence. Police said a safe apparently forced open after stolen and three other people in their upper 20's to early 30's were located inside the vehicle.

 

One of them, Brandon Hicks, was taken into custody on a felony warrant out of Saint Joseph County, Michigan, police said.

 

State Preparing for Winter Storm

(Indianapolis, IN) - The Indiana Department of Transportation is preparing for a major winter storm expected to blanket the state.

 

Just one or two inches of snow is expected in La Porte and surrounding counties but heavier amounts are predicted to the south.  The precipitation could start overnight Tuesday and early Wednesday.

 

The National Weather Service has issued winter storm warnings and winter weather advisories for all of Indiana.

 

According to INDOT, crews will be out in full strength in most areas with nearly 1,000 trucks treating and plowing highways.

 

INDOT urges motorists to closely monitor forecasts and avoid unnecessary travel during the peak of the storm, which is predicted to produce as much as one inch of snow per hour in some parts downstate.

 

Drivers should remember to slow down, increase following distance, give plow trucks room to work and allow plenty of extra time to reach their destinations, INDOT officials said.

Russian Roulette Driver Back in Jail

(La Porte County, IN) - Police believe a driver was impaired on drugs to the extent of posing a major threat to the traveling public.

 

Roger Davidson, 69, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Operating while Intoxicated along with Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Marijuana and other counts.

 

On January 19, a Kingsford Heights Police officer about 9:30 p.m. responded to a complaint of a vehicle all over the roadway in the area of U.S. 6 and Range Road. A short time later, the officer stopped the vehicle after witnessing the driver veer over the center line and fog line multiple times.

 

Police said the officer while approaching on foot noticed what seemed like an odor of marijuana coming from his vehicle.  Davidson said he just left his job at an auto parts store in La Porte and had not been drinking. However, authorities noted his speech was slurred and he nearly fell while staggering after stepping out of the vehicle.

 

Marijuana along with smoking pipe were recovered from his vehicle.

 

After transported to the La Porte County Jail, Davidson was found with more marijuana along with two grams of methamphetamine on his possession. Davidson of Knox is being held without bond.  He was out on bond on previous charges of unlawful possession of a syringe and possession of marijuana filed in November, according to court records.

 

A test confirmed there was no alcohol in his bloodstream, police said. 

Arrest in Drug Store Fentanyl Sale

(La Porte, IN) - La Porte City Police have taken an alleged fentanyl dealer off the streets. Elias Gonzalez, 22, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Level 5 Felony Dealing a Narcotic Drug.

 

According to court documents, Gonzalez on December 7th made arrangements to sell 15 pressed fentanyl pills.  Police said he met the buyer inside CVS Pharmacy at 1407 Lincolnway and carried out the exchange. The buyer then left the cash on a shelf in the detergent aisle of the store for Gonzalez to pick-up before he left a package containing the pills.

 

Charges were filed on January 19th after the results from an Indiana State Police laboratory confirmed the pills contained fentanyl.

 

Gonzalez, whose address is listed on Stone Lake Drive, was taken into custody on January 23rd.  He was being held in the La Porte County Jail on $20,000 bond. Prior records reveal Gonzalez has an intimidation charge filed in 2021 still undecided in the courts.

Charges in Railroad Metal Theft

(Michigan City, IN) - A South Shore commuter line worker is accused of stealing copper from the railroad. Kevin Woods of Michigan City is charged with theft.

 

Authorities said he took a spool of wire from a railroad storage area then placed it in the bed of a truck.   The truck owned by his employer was equipped with a GPS device and allegedly stopped at the home of the suspect.

 

The investigation by Indiana State Police alleges Woods sold the copper wire in Westville as scrap for over $500 in three separate transactions at an auto salvage yard. 

 

Woods could face an up to 30 month sentence on the Level 6 Felony Charge.

City Council Races Taking Shape

(La Porte, IN) - Two people, so far, are running for two at-large seats on the La Porte City Council.

 

One of the at-large incumbents, Republican Tim Franke, is seeking a second term. Dakota Euler filed his candidacy for city council at-large but later withdrew from the race. Lauren Huffman is also in the race for the Republican nomination in the May primary for city council at-large. 

 

So far, no Democrats have filed to run for any of the at-large seats on the seven member city council.

 

In announcing his candidacy today, Franke said “we have accomplished many great things in the past 3.5 years from attracting high paying businesses, removing drugs from our streets and increasing the quality of affordable homes through code enforcement.  Our community is on the move.  However, there’s more work to be done.”

 

Franke, a local business owner, also serves on the board of directors for the La Porte County Family YMCA.  He’s also a member of the La Porte Rotary Club and active with other boards within city government and outside organizations.

 

Incumbent Republicans Karyl Machek-Feikes, Laura Konieczny, Roger Galloway and Julie West are also running for reelection in their respective city council wards.

 

So far, they face no challengers.   The filing deadline for candidates to run for municipal positions in the May primary is February 3.

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores

Facebook