Local News Archives for 2023-05

High Honors for La Porte Choir

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte High School Choir has received the Indiana State School Music Association All-Music Award for the 2022-2023 school year.


Under the direction of Choir Director Tom Coe, the Slicer performers were presented a special banner from the Indiana State School Music Association recognizing their outstanding musical accomplishments this year.  The achievements included gold ratings for all three choirs at the April contest, as well as gold ratings in sight reading as well. 


“This year's Chorale, made up of mostly Seniors, has been the brightest spot of my day all year long! I'm going to miss them very much next year and they are leaving some BIG shoes to fill for the underclassmen!,” Coe said.   


Seniors Morelia Robles, Addysen Morros, and Monica Camarillo-Duran said participating in the choir for four-years made a great impact on their lives.


“I became more confident in myself and appreciate the support we received throughout the community,” Morros said.



Wrong Way Pursuits Ends Safely

(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Police arrested a driver who led them on a pursuit in the opposite lanes of U.S. 30 this morning.  Lena Miller, 57, of Valparaiso was booked into the La Porte County Jail for resisting law enforcement.


Originally, an officer encountered Miller parked on the shoulder in the area of U.S. 30 and Indiana 39 earlier in the night.  She had run out of gas and exhibited no signs of being impaired.  Later, the officer recognized the same vehicle traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of U.S. 30 near 450 West.  The vehicle was traveling directly toward the officer, who swerved to avoid a head-on collision.


During the pursuit, Miller remained in the opposite lanes while traveling about 45 to 50 miles hour and nearly causing several collisions, police said.  They reported three of her tires were flattened with stop sticks near 100 West but she kept going into Starke County until officers boxed her in and forced her to slow down until coming to a stop.


Miller said she was looking for her son but failed to provid specifics.  She then began making statements that did not make any sense, according to police.


Charlie Finley Mansion For Sale

(La Porte, IN) - The former home of one of the most famous team owners in major league baseball history is on the market for over $1.4 million just outside LaPorte.


The Oakland A’s won three straight World Series titles in the early 1970’s when the late Charlie Finley owned the team and lived in the mansion at 3855 West Johnson Road.


Zach Coulter of Blackrock Real Estate Services said the 10 acre site was put up for sale over a week ago by the current owners, Kevin and Rhonda Spence.


“There’s been a few showings.  Definitely, an intriguing property,” he said.


Coulter said an offer for at least $1 million was turned down, at least for right now.


He said the well-kept, mostly still original, mansion built in 1942 features seven bedrooms and 12 bathrooms along with other unique characteristics like Georgia marble fireplaces.  There’s also a three bedroom, three bathroom guest house constructed in the 1880’s and several barns including one with five stalls for horses.


Coulter says updates to the property such as new roofs in recent years were for maintenance purposes.


“A lot of the charm and character remains the same as it was when the Finley’s lived there. It’s a cool property for sure,” he said.


The colorful Finley, who made his fortune in the insurance business at Chicago, was 77 when he passed away in 1996.   He spent part of his childhood in Gary and moved to the mansion outside LaPorte in 1956.  Finley obtained a controlling interest in the A’s in 1960 and moved the team from Kansas City to Oakland in 1968.


The first of three consecutive World Series titles came four-years later with Hall of Fame players like Reggie Jackson, Jim “Catfish” Hunter and Rollie Fingers.


Finley, who seemed to relish in the national spotlight, also became a familiar name because of his salary disputes with players he replaced with less costly talent.  He was very outspoken in his opposition to free agency and his legal battles with then MLB Commissioner the late Bowie Kuhn.  Finley was also known as an innovator for things like changing the team colors to green, gold and white.


One of his inventions was an orange baseball for players to see better during night games, but the idea never caught on despite his continued sales pitches even on network TV.


Chip Jones, a lifelong LaPorte resident, said he grew up with some of Finley’s eight children, including Martin who was in his grade at school.  Jones said he occasionally went to the property to hang out or play basketball in the gym in the loft of one of the barns.  He also said Finley’s wife, Shirley, would call them in from outside and serve lunch during his visits.


“Mrs. Finley was as nice as can be.  She would feed you your peanut butter sandwich just like anyone else’s mom,” he said.


Mr. Finley was also known for embracing the community.  He would tell national TV audiences how he loved La Porte and do other things like donate baseball equipment for use by local youth.


After the couple divorced, Finley moved to another mansion a short distance away on U.S. 35 where he welcomed people by the thousands annually to see his outdoor Christmas display.


Jones said it was a special period of time to live in La Porte.


“It was kind of two worlds. You thought it was really cool that Charlie owned the Oakland A’s but the Finley kids were just good buddies.  They were just guys,” he said.


Coulter said the current owners put the property up for sale because they’re looking to downsize since their children are now grown.  He said mansion has already generated considerable interest.


“There’s been several showings and receiving an offer is a good sign,” he said.

Cougars Take Regionals in Softball

(La Porte County, IN) - The girls’ softball team from New Prairie High School brought home the regional championship last night.  The Cougars (28-5) defeated Tippecanoe Valley 16-0.  The game was called after four innings under the IHSAA mercy rule.


Freelance photographer, Mike Kellems, said the game at New Prairie featured a few home runs from Cougar batters.


“Tippy Valley is not a bad team at all.  It’s just New Prairie has got all pistons firing right now,” he said.


The Cougars advanced to the Twin Lakes Semi State in Class 3A.  New Prairie is scheduled to play No. 8 ranked Hanover Central Saturday at 12 p.m. (central time).


With a victory, the Cougars would play for the championship that evening at 5 p.m. (Central Time.)






Murder Suspect a Brew Pub Worker

(Michigan City, IN) - A man finished his shift at a popular Brew Pub in Michigan City and then fatally shot a man during an argument a short time later.  Those are among the new details in the case against Jonathan Smith.


Smith, 31, is charged with murder having allegedly shot Joseph Davis in the stomach area at about 6 p.m. on Saturday at 413 York Street.  Police said Davis, 52, died while in surgery.


According to court documents, an argument flared up between the two men after Smith was given a ride home by a woman after he finished his shift at Zorn Brewery. A witness told investigators Davis was videotaping Smith and the woman together and threatened to send the images to “someone else.”


At one point, police said it appeared Davis was inside his house and was being restrained from going outside.  Meanwhile, Smith was outside aggravating an already volatile situation by yelling things. The heated exchange continued despite efforts from other individuals to get both men to calm down.


Police said Smith eventually approached the front porch of the home, pulled out a handgun from his pants, and shot Joseph.  Smith fled from the scene but turned himself in about two hours later at the police station.


According to police, Smith told investigators that Davis was moving toward him and threatening to spray him with mace when he fired.


Smith is currently being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond.

Elderly Couple Attacked by Dog

(La Porte County, IN) - A 67-year-old Michigan City area woman out for a walk with her husband wound up in the emergency room after being bitten by a dog.


According to La Porte County Police, an officer was called Friday just before 6 p.m. to Franciscan Health near Interstate 94 whereTheresa Hanske was being treated at the hospital for broken skin bleeding from her buttocks as a result of the bite.


Hanske told police she and her husband were walking on 200 North and once reaching 950 West they began to head back to their house. The leashed dog, a four-year-old English Mastiff, pulled hard away from her owner and ran toward the couple.  “Daisy” tried biting the man at his waist, then charged toward Hanske and bit her on the back side.


Police said Melissa Novak, 46, told investigators she was in her driveway with the leash in her hand but could not hold the dog when “Daisy” pulled away. She was able to quickly regain control of the dog after Hanske was injured.


According to police, the owner was able to prove her dog was current on her rabies vaccinations.

Alcohol a Factor in House Collision

(Hudson Lake, IN) - A 21-year-old man was allegedly drunk when he drove his sports car into a house in La Porte County early Saturday over in Hudson Lake.


According to police, the driver said he just purchased a 2018 Porsche and was showing off for his friend, who was a passenger in the car. It appears he was traveling too fast for a curve and drove into the yard, before slamming into the side of the house on Bell Avenue.   The impact was hard enough to move the house partially off its foundation, as well as to induce heavy damage on the inside of the structure. 


Two people living there heard the crash and went outside to see the car parked a few hundred feet away. Police said there were no injuries.


The driver, Benjamin Zirkle of Crown Point, had an alleged blood alcohol level slightly above the .08-percent legal limit.  He was charged with Operating while Intoxicated and Reckless Driving. 

One Person Airlifted from Crash

(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Police are still investigating a serious motor vehicle crash that occurred around noon last Friday at U.S 421 and 1500 South.  Police said a westbound flat-bed pick-up truck, apparently hauling dirt, collided with a southbound passenger vehicle.


40-year-old Eric Duttlinger of Wanatah told police he stopped for a stop sign, looked both ways, and saw a vehicle off in the distance before pulling out.  His pick-up struck the driver’s side of the passenger vehicle driven by 63-year-old Sandra Holloway.


The Central Indiana woman told police Duttlinger ran the stop sign. She was taken to the hospital in Porter County.  Her passenger, 72-year-old Virgil Holloway also from Central Indiana, was airlifted to a hospital wearing a neckbrace and complaining of pain in his back. Duttlinger was not injured.


So far, police said it appears alcohol was not involved in the accident.

Hearing for Weekend Murder Suspect

(Michigan City, IN) - A suspect in a Michigan City shooting death is scheduled for his initial court hearing today.  Jonathan Smith, 31, is charged with murder.


Police were called Saturday evening to the 400 block of York Street where, according to authorities, 52-year-old Joseph Davis was on the floor of the residence with a gunshot wound to his torso. Davis was flown to Memorial Hospital in South Bend where he died while in surgery.


Investigators said the shooting occurred while the two men were arguing. The suspect turned himself in at the police station nearly two hours after the incident.


Smith is currently being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond pending his initial hearing in La Porte Superior Court 1 at Michigan City.

Slicers are Sectional Champs after Defeating Mishawaka

(Plymouth, IN) - The 2023 La Porte Slicer baseball team hasn’t done anything the easy way the entire season. Monday’s sectional championship game versus Mishawaka at Plymouth was no different. La Porte rode the strong right arm of RJ Anglin and overcame five frustrating innings offensively before eliminating Mishawaka 3-0 for the program’s 37th sectional title.


The game was a scoreless pitcher’s duel for the first five and a half innings with each team failing to capitalize on scoring opportunities. Anglin retired the Cavemen in order in three of seven innings while the Slicers had baserunners every inning.


La Porte was the home team. In the top of the first, Anglin gave up a two out single to Matt Peletier before retiring Mishawaka cleanup man, AJ Budd, to end the inning. In the bottom of the inning LP got a one out single from Kade Flores. Drew Catron worked the count full. Before the 3-2 pitch, Caveman starter Tommy Harringer picked Flores off first for the second out. Two pitches later, Catron laced a double that would have scored Flores to right center. Anglin grounded out to end the inning.


Anglin retired Mishawaka in order with two strikeouts in the second. Speedy Keli Hay reached on a throwing error but was unable to advance for La Porte in the bottom of the inning.


Mishawaka had their best scoring opportunity in the third. Anglin walked Mishawaka’s talented freshman catcher Kamden Putz to start the inning. Isaac Valdez bunted Putz’s courtesy runner Trey DeBroka to second. Anglin walked Maddux Yohe to put runners on first and second with one out. RJ then struck out Kaden Rose, Mishawaka’s leading hitter, for the second out. Peletier smashed a line drive to left that Kai Jones made a nice catch on to end the inning.


In the bottom of the third Ryan Bruemmer got a bad hop single to lead things off. Ben Dubbs’ sacrifice bunt attempt was caught in the air by third baseman Cooper Pritchett who doubled Bruemmer off first. Flores then singled and Catron walked before Anglin was retired on a look-what-I-found short hop ground out to second.


After Anglin retired, the side in order in the top of the fourth La Porte’s offensive frustrations continued. Tommy Samuelson and Hay singled to right to put runners on first and second with no outs. Jax Land got called out on strikes for the first out and Carter Moses drew a walk to load the bases. Bruemmer struck out and Dubbs flew out to left to end the inning leaving the bases full.


Anglin survived two Mishawaka hits in the fifth. The first a one out single by Putz. The second when Putz’s courtesy runner DeBroka was hit by a ground ball while running to second and was called out.  Flores drew a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the inning and was bunted to second by Catron. Angling was intentionally walked. With Samuelson at the plate, Harringer threw a wild pitch to move the runners to second and third. Mishawaka pulled their infield in and Samuelson hit a chopper to second. Caveman second baseman Shawn Nowicki’s throw to the plate was up the third base line. Catcher Putz made a diving catch and was able to tag Flores as he was trying to leap over him to score for the second out.  Hay hit a hard line drive right at Nowicki to end the inning.


La Porte left a total of seven runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Anglin got three ground ball outs in a quick top of the sixth before the Slicers finally broke through with a two out rally. Land and Moses were both retired on line drives to start the inning. Land to right field and Moses to short. Bruemmer singled to left and stole second. Ben Dubbs walked and Flores reached on an error by the second baseman to load the bases. Then came the at bat of the year. Catron singled to left scoring both Bruemmer and Dubbs to give the Slicers a 2-0 lead and runners on first and second. For the second time Anglin was intentionally walked to load the bases. Yohe came in to pitch for Harringer and promptly threw a wild pitch that scored Flores. The catcher’s throw to Yohe covering home was wild and Catron tried to score from second but was out at the plate. It was 3-0 LP heading to the seventh.


In the Mishawaka seventh, Pritchett hit a deep drive to right center that was tracked down and caught by Bruemmer for out number one. Nowacki grounded out to Samuelson for the second out. Nothing comes easy for these Slicers. DH Payton Jones fisted a base hit just over the head of shortstop Flores and Putz walked bringing the tying run to the plate. Anglin struck out Valdez and the Slicer celebration was on.


Anglin, threw a four hit shutout, striking out seven and walking three and Catron who delivered the game winning hit were named the the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Players of the Game on 96.7 The Eagle. Catron was 2-2 with two RBI. Flores and Bruemmer were both 2-3 and scored a run.


Anglin, who shut out South Bend Adams in Wednesday’s opening tournament game, pitched 14 scoreless innings, striking out 19 and allowing only six hits in the tournament.


The win was the 20th of the year for the Slicers who are now 20-9. Mishawaka bows out at 23-6.


La Porte will face Penn in the one game regional next Saturday. The time and location are yet to be determined by the IHSAA. Schreiber Field is one of the designated North regional sites so the Slicers will likely play at home.


Photo Credit:  Susan Anglin

New Prairie Baseball Wins Sectional

(Lakeville, IN) - After losing to John Glenn earlier this month, the New Prairie boys’ baseball team faced them again Monday morning in the sectional finals.  They wasted no time pouncing on the Falcons.


With New Prairie leading 6-0 after the first inning, The Cougars weren’t relying on a dominant pitching performance from their ace Tyson Greenwood, but they got one anyway.


The junior leftie threw a complete game one-hitter at Newton Park, propelling New Prairie to a Sectional Championship over John Glenn. Greenwood delivered nine strikeouts and helped his own cause with two hits and two RBI. Glenn’s run was un-earned. Freshman Reed Robinson led the Cougar offense with three hits and two stolen bases.


New Prairie will face Andrean in the regional on Saturday. The time and location of the game has yet to be determined. It will be another rematch for the Cougars. The two teams played to a tie back in April.

Memorial Planned for Former New Prairie Student-Athlete

(New Carlisle, IN) - A memorial service is planned for Wednesday afternoon to remember a former New Prairie student whose life was tragically cut short late last week.


20-year-old Braydon Flagg was killed in a single-vehicle accident Thursday afternoon. His 2012 Toyota left the roadway and struck a tree on westbound County Road 50 N. That’s in the area between Mill Creek and Bendix Woods. The family said Braydon was heading home from a summer job that he had just started.


Flagg graduated in 2021 from New Prairie, where he was a pitcher on the baseball team and a standout basketball player, leading the Cougars to a sectional title. The 6-5 shooting guard was one of the state’s top 3-point shooters his senior season. In a recruiting statement, Flagg wrote:


“Basketball is my passion and it would be an amazing opportunity to get my education paid for while playing the sport I love.  I love the constant activity and movement of basketball. I am a very competitive person and I exhaust maximum energy each play so I can maximize my team's opportunity of success.”


He went on to play college basketball at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Illinois. A biology major who just finished his sophomore year, Flagg was remembered by the coaching staff there as leader on and off the court. "We all feel immense sorrow as we have lost such a great young man and ONU basketball player in Braydon," said ONU Director of Athletics Mike Conway. "Braydon was an amazing young man and he will be missed beyond words." Flagg helped the Tigers win back-to-back conference regular season titles and a conference tournament championship. He also won the team’s 6th Man Award last year.


Friends and family will gather at New Prairie High School on Wednesday, May 31st to remember Braydon. A viewing is scheduled to take place in the High School Auditorium from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Central time, with a memorial service to follow at 5:00. The family invites attendees to dress casually, as Braydon would have wanted, especially sporting New Prairie or Olivet spirit wear.

Slicers Advance Past Plymouth to Play for a Sectional Crown

(Plymouth, IN) - Things did not look good for the Slicer baseball team for the first four and a half innings Saturday at the Plymouth sectional vs the host Pilgrims.  La Porte trailed 1-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth but a three run rally put them ahead 3-1 and they held on to advance to Monday night’s sectional championship against Mishawaka.


La Porte was the home team and sent Cody Ryden to the mound. The sophomore right hander worked around one out hits in both the first and second innings holding the Pilgrims scoreless. The Slicers threatened in the bottom of both innings but came up empty. In the first, Ben Dubbs had a single up the middle to lead things off and promptly stole second. After Kade Flores flew out to left for the first out, Drew Catron hit a soft liner to second. Dubbs had taken off attempting to steal third. Plymouth second baseman Ryan Jolly made the catch and stepped on second for an inning ending double play. With one out in the second, Tommy Samuelson got hit with a pitch. He moved to second on Keli Hay’s swinging bunt back to the pitcher for the second out. With Carter Moses at the plate, a Matt Manzuk pitch got away from Pilgrim catcher Koan Deon. Samuelson tried to advance to third put was thrown out ending the inning.


Plymouth took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. Ryden walked Jolly, his only walk of the game, to start the inning. Trey Hall put down a sacrifice bunt moving Jolly to second. Cam Shively ripped a double to left center to knock in the run. Ryden got cleanup hitter Manzuk to fly to center before shortstop Flores made an outstanding sliding catch in foul territory to end the inning.


La Porte went three up and three down in the bottom of the third. Moses flew out to left then both Ryan Bruemmer and Kai Jones ripped line drives right at Pilgrim defenders. Bruemmer’s to left and Jones’ to leaping first baseman Boston Berkeypile.


Plymouth threatened in the fourth. Trey Delp singled to left and Berkeypile reached on an error putting runners at first and second with no outs. Caleb Bowling flew out to medium deep right field. Delp attempted to advance to third but Keli Hay made the throw of the year to cut him down at third. Ryden struck out Deon to end the inning.


La Porte’s tough offensive luck continued in the bottom of the fourth. Dubbs hit a hard grounder that looked like a hit up the middle. Manzuk, the pitcher, deflected the ball to shortstop Preston Wolfe who threw out Dubbs. Catron singled with two outs but was stranded when RJ Anglin was called out on strikes to end the inning.

Ryden worked around a lead off hit in the top of the fifth keep the score 1-0.


The Slicers finally caught some offensive breaks and timely hitting to score three in the bottom of the fifth. Samuelson dumped a single into center. Hay followed with a hard grounder up the middle. Shortstop Wolfe moving toward the base looked like he would be able to pick it up, step on second and turn a double play. Instead, he glanced at the runner and the ball scooted under his glove putting two on with no outs. Manzuk tried to pick Samuelson off of second and threw the ball into center field moving runners on second and third. Moses bounced out to second driving in Samuelson to tie the game. Bruemmer ripped a double to right center field to knock in Hay, then scored Dubbs’ two out base hit making it 3-1 La Porte.


Ryden and the Slicer defense took over from there. In the sixth, catcher Moses pounced on a nubber in front of the mound and made a great throw to nip Kaden Milliser at first. Delp then hit a hard grounder that third baseman Catron dove to stop, hopped up and threw him out at first. With one on a two outs, shortstop Flores charged a slow hopper and nipped Bowling at first to end the inning.

Wolfe came in to pitch the bottom of the sixth for Plymouth striking out a pair in a one, two, three inning.


Ryden gave up a one out single in the seventh before striking out Hall and getting Shively to hit into a force play to end the game.


Ryden and Bruemmer were named co Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones players of the game. Ryden pitched seven innings, gave up one run on six hits. He struck out seven and walked one. Bruemmer was 1-2, hitting the ball hard both at bats. He drove in the Slicer’s second run and scored the third. Dubbs was the only Slicer with multiple hits going 2-3 with an RBI and stolen base.


La Porte improves to 19-9 on the season. Plymouth finishes at 14-15.


Mishawaka won the first semifinal game over Michigan City 11-0 in six innings. The Cavemen and Slicers will meet on Memorial Day at 5:00 PM central time at Bill Nixon Field in Plymouth’s Centennial Park for the Sectional 3 crown.  As always, you can hear every pitch on 96.7 the Eagle, the 96.7 The Eagle La Porte app, or online at 96.7TheEagle.com.

Local Memorial Day Activities To Honor Heroes

(La Porte County, IN) - Memorial Day ceremonies abound throughout the area today. Here is a rundown of some ways to spend the day in a patriotic way:


La Porte

The La Porte City Band will present a Memorial Day service at Fox Park. The event will begin at 10:30 this morning with a half hour of patriotic music. At 11:00, there will be a memorial service that will include a 21-gun salute, the playing of “Taps” and the presentation of wreaths representing each conflict over the decades, as well as the reading of the names of veterans who have died within the past year.


Truesdale Avenue is closed for construction. Organizers say there is plenty of parking around Fox Park. Just remember to enter off McClung Road. and be patient getting in and out of the event.


Michigan City

The Gold Star Freedom Wall is on display in Michigan City at Ames Field. The travelling memorial honors over 7,400 Americans killed in action during the Gulf War and in Iraq and Afghanistan.


New Carlisle 

There’s a parade in New Carlisle this morning. The parade starts at 9:00 a.m. Central time. It will proceed along Michigan Street and end at the cemetery where there will be a wreath-laying ceremony.


Rolling Prairie

Folks in Rolling Prairie will conduct a similar ceremony at 10:00 a.m. A parade starting at the elementary school will proceed to the cemetery for a memorial service, followed by free hotdogs at the VFW Post 9423.


South Bend

And over in South Bend, history reenactors will present a Civil War era Memorial Day Program at Bowman Cemetery on Miami Street. That starts at 9:00 a.m. Central time this morning.

Newgarden Takes Checkered Flag in Wild Indy 500 Finish

(Indianapolis, IN) - Josef Newgarden won the 107th running of the Indianapolis 500 in dramatic fashion, passing last year's winner, Marcus Ericsson, in the final lap.


Three red flags in the final sixteen laps set up a two-lap sprint to the finish. Ericsson, who had just taken the lead when an accident halted action, said after the race that it should have ended under caution, not with another restart. Newgarden, who only led five of the 200 laps, shot past Ericsson to take the checkered flag. It was the fourth-closest finish in the race's history.


After the race, a fired-up Newgarden slipped through a hole in the fence in front of the grandstands and celebrated with fans. "I've been waiting to do that," he said. "I've always wanted to go in the crowd here in Indy. There's nothing like it, and I'm just so thankful, you know, to be here, to have a shot to run this race. I will never forget this."


Newgarden, a 32-year-old hailing from Nashville, is the first American to win the Indy 500 since 2016. He brings team owner Roger Penske his 19th Indy 500 victory.


In a terrifying moment late in the race, debris from a crash, including a race car tire, went flying into the spectator area. The tire landed on a car. One bystander was reportedly struck by debris with no apparent injury.

A Record Night for New Prairie Softball

(Elkhart, IN) - The New Prairie girls claimed a sectional championship in softball and achieved a couple of milestones in the process.


After beating South Bend Clay Thursday night 5-1, the Lady Cougars thumped Jimtown 10-0 on the Jimmies' home field Friday night. Sophomore pitcher Eva Geyer struck out nine batters in five innings of work, giving up only one hit. She also added three RBI. 


It was a record-worthy evening. Derek Hicks notched his 100th win as head coach. And Abby Robakowski hit her 22nd home run, tying a state record. Robakowski's dinger put the team at 50 home runs for the season, the second highest amount for a team in Indiana high school softball history.


The Cougars will host the Class 3A softball regional Tuesday evening.

Weekend Activities a Prelude to Memorial Day

(La Porte County, IN) - Prior to Monday, there are a few Memorial Day activities going on in the area over the weekend.


The Gold Star Freedom Wall returned to Ames Field in Michigan City on Friday. You can visit it for free anytime day or night through Memorial Day. The traveling memorial honors over 7,400 Americans killed in action during the Gulf War and in Iraq and Afghanistan.


The American Legion Riders of Michigan City, who sponsor the Freedom Wall, will also be holding an 88-mile motorcycle scramble starting at Skwiat Post 451. Registration opens at 9:00 Saturday morning, with the ride to start at 10:30 a.m. Money raised benefits Mission 22 and their fight against veterans’ suicide.


Potato Creek State Park is hosting an outdoor concert Saturday afternoon, featuring Irish music and Hoosier classics by Kennedy’s Kitchen. That will take place from 2-5 p.m. Central time at the beach concession area. The concert is free after park admission.


And fireworks are scheduled Saturday night in three Oaks, along with a beer tent and live music. Fireworks go off around 8:45 Central.

New Prairie Baseball on a Roll

(New Carlisle, IN) - New Prairie boys' baseball finished their regular season with an impressive record of 20 wins and only 7 losses and a tie.


The Cougars opened up sectionals on Thursday with a 8-4 victory over Culver Academies. Tyson Greenwood threw 5 innings allowing 1 run with 3 strikeouts, and helped his own cause by adding 4 RBI. Freshman Reed Robinson contributed a triple and a double. Joe Kinney picked up the save.


The Cougars will play for the Sectional Championship on Monday morning versus John Glenn High School at Newton Park.

First Responder of the Year

(La Porte County, IN) - A local first responder has been recognized for his work in helping with medical calls for service.


Warren Smith was named "First Responder of the Year" yesterday.


The award is given annually by the La Porte County Emergency Medical Service.




Smith, who's the assistant fire chief for the Coolspring Township Volunteer Fire Department, said the award made him feel good on the inside.


“It was a true honor to be nominated for it but to actually be chosen for it was a big surprise.  I had no idea I was even nominated,” he said.


Smith responds mostly to medical emergencies to help paramedics and emergency medical technicians with things such as loading patients into ambulances.


He also makes himself available to help with CPR and other life saving measures.


On average, Smith said he responds to about 30 EMS related calls, including motor vehicle accidents, every month.


“We’ve covered stabbings.  We’ve covered gunshot wounds.   Every type of call you could possibly imagine we respond to,” he said.


Smith has been a first responder for about 25-years.


“A lot of it is getting comfortable with what you’re doing and knowing the people.  They get comfortable with you and they know your abilities.  It all falls into place,” he said.

State Highway Closure Planned

(La Porte County, IN) - A stretch of state highway in La Porte County will be temporarily closed beginning next weeks.


According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, Milestone Contractors North, Inc. will close Indiana 4 between 500 East and Taylor Road on or after June 2nd.


The highway will be closed through mid-July for a culvert replacement over the Leroy arm of the Williams Travis Ditch.


Motorists should seek an alternate route during the construction period.  The official detour will follow State Road 104 and State Road 23, INDOT said.

Young Man Killed in Crash

(La Porte County, IN) - A 20-year-old man was killed in a single vehicle crash in La Porte County yesterday, later identified as Braydon Flagg of Mill Creek.


Just after 2 p.m., police said Flagg was driving a 2012 Toyota westbound on 50 North near 1000 East in Wills Township. For unknown reasons, he veered left across the center line and continued traveling left until striking a tree, returning to the road, and coming to a stop.  


Flagg was extricated from the vehicle and taken to a regional hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later in the emergency room.


According to police, investigators are waiting for the results of a toxicology test to determine if alcohol or drugs were a factor in the accident.

Bicyclist Attacked by Dog

(La Crosse, IN) - A woman was injured when attacked by a dog while riding a bicycle in La Crosse.


La Porte County Police were called Wednesday about 6:30 p.m.


Cindy Bobcek, 65, told officers she was riding her bicycle in the area of 1100 West south of Indiana 8 when two dogs ran from a nearby home, one biting her left leg above the ankle.


According to police, she suffered about four puncture wounds that appeared to be bleeding through the bandages. The white and brown dog described as an English coonhound was about knee-high,


The owners, showing proof of current rabies vaccination, claimed the dogs ran out of their home through an open door. The report was given to La Porte County Animal Control to further the investigation.

Crash Fatal to La Porte Woman

(Porter County, IN) - A LaPorte woman was killed Wednesday afternoon in a two vehicle collision on U.S. 20 in Porter County.


Shellie Games, 56, was eastbound when the driver’s side of her Chevy Camaro was hit by a passenger vehicle crossing the highway southbound at Wagner Road in Porter.


The other driver, a 19-year old woman from Valparaiso, refused medical attention, police said.


Both directions of U.S. 20 were closed for about two hours.


At the moment, police said the use of drugs or alcohol are not suspected factors in the crash.  Toxicology results are still pending.  


Anyone with information such as witnesses to the crash are asked to contact Porter Police at (219) 926-7611 or email jholaway2@townofporter.com.

Reckless Driver Nabbed for OWI

(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Police arrested a driver who posed a real danger to herself and other motorists on Wednesday. Christina Esparza, 36, of Knox is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Operating while Intoxicated.


According to police, officers about 2 p.m. were called by a driver about a vehicle swerving badly on U.S. 6 in the area of 300 East. The driver kept honking his horn to warn motorists about the car, which veered off the two lane highway and returned to the pavement before nearly striking a semi-truck.


A short time later, police said Esparza ran over the center line at another oncoming driver, off the road, and then came to rest in a farmer’s field near 750 East.


The woman showed obvious signs of major impairment such as staggering when she walked and slurring her speech.


A bottle of whiskey was recovered from the scene.


Police said Esparza was handcuffed after refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test.

Survive and Advance, Slicers Edge Adams 2-0 on Anglin's 3-Hitter

The La Porte baseball team advanced to Saturday’s sectional semifinals at Plymouth with a 2-0 win over South Bend John Adams. Senior ace RJ Anglin was masterful tossing a three hit shutout, striking out twelve and walking only two. 


The Slicers were the visiting team and threatened in the top of the first inning. Kade Flores hit a one out single up the middle and Drew Catron reached on an error by Adams third baseman Kai Whitlow. Cleanup hitter Anglin hit a hard one hopper that took Eagle’s second baseman KJ Johnston toward second base and Adams was able to turn a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.


Adams had their best scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first. Whitlow had an infield single to lead the inning off and Jake Mulvehill fisted a base hit to left putting runners on first and second with no one out. Brock Stultz hit a nubber on the first base side of the mound. Anglin picked it up made a difficult throw to second for the force and shortstop Flores was able to turn the double play.  Anglin got cleanup hitter Johnston to pop out to end the inning.


Anglin retired the Eagles in order in the second, fourth, sixth and seventh. Adams got a one out walk in the third but could not capitalize. In the fifth Ethan Trimberger reached on an infield hit and Phillip Northern drew a one out walk putting runners on first and second with one out. Anglin struck out the next two hitters to end the inning.


La Porte got on the board in the third. Carter Moses reached on an error by the shortstop to lead the inning off and was replaced by courtesy runner Drew Flores.  Ryan Bruemmer couldn’t get a bunt down but Flores moved to second on a pass ball before Bruemmer struck out. Ben Dubbs lined a single just out of the reach of shortstop Northern. Drew Flores had to hold up at third, putting Slicers on the corners. Kade Flores slapped a single to left scoring brother Drew to give the Slicers a 1-0 edge. The inning could have been bigger. Catron blistered a line drive up the middle but Northern made an unbelievable diving catch to rob the Slicer third baseman and save a run. Anglin flew out to right to end the inning. 


The Slicers threatened in the fourth and fifth but came up empty. Samuelson reached on error to lead off the fourth. Keli Hay struck out and Jax Land was the victim of a diving catch on a foul ball by right fielder Mulvehill. Carter Moses ripped a single to left with Samuelson running to put runners on first and third. Bruemmer hit into a force out to end the inning. In the fifth, Dubbs singled to start the inning moved to second on Kade Flores’ sacrifice bunt. Catron hit a grounder into the hole at short and appeared to beat the throw to first by a step. The umpire saw it differently and there were two outs. Anglin walked and Samuelson flew out to center to end the inning.


La Porte picked up a huge insurance run in the top of the seventh. Dubbs singled with one out and Kade Flores walked. They advanced to second and third on a wild pitch then advanced again on another pitch that got away from the catcher. Dubbs scored and Flores moved to third. After Catron grounded to third for the second out Flores tried to steal home but was tagged out on a close play to end the inning with LP leading 2-0.


Anglin struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh and LP moves to Saturday’s second semifinal vs Plymouth.


Anglin, Kade Flores who was 2-2 with an RBI and Dubbs who was 3-4 with a run scored were named tri Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Players of the game. 


Anglin was named to the North team for the annual North-South All Star game this summer. He and Dubbs were also named to the all DAC team.


Michigan City and Mishawaka will face off Saturday at 10:00 AM Central time. La Porte and Plymouth will follow at approximately 12:30 PM. The winners will play Monday, Memorial Day, at 5:00 PM for the sectional title. All games are played at Bill Nixon Field in Centennial Park in Plymouth. La Porte’s game can be heard on WCOE 96.7 the Eagle.


Photos courtesy of Susan Anglin.

Road Work Moves to Next Stage

(La Porte, IN) - The resurfacing of Pine Lake Avenue is moving right along.


New pavement is now being laid where old pavement was taken out while Improvements continue at the intersections.


Travel remains slow going at times in areas where the work is occurring especially during the morning and afternoon rush hours.


Police Chief Paul Brettin said things are also going smoothly from a law enforcement standpoint with officers issuing few tickets for speeding and other traffic violations.


“Our officers have been working some speed checks up there.  So far, there have been a few but nothing outrageous, which is good,” he said.


Brettin said drivers upset by the slow going at times should seek alternate routes to avoid the road construction.


“I know it’s a bottleneck.  I know people are getting frustrated but it appears it’s going to be done very soon.  They’re laying a lot of pavement there.  Just be patient,” he said.


The work is scheduled to be finished in early July.  The project was ordered by the Indiana Department of Transportation since Pine Lake Ave. is a state highway. 

Proposed Battery Plant Nears Final Decision

(New Carlisle, IN) - There could be an EV battery-making plant outside New Carlisle after all, as a new version of the plan for such has unanimously been passed by the St. Joseph County Commissioners and Redevelopment Commission.


The proposal is scheduled for final consideration now by the St. Joseph County Council, currently planing to meet again on Tuesday beginning at 6:30 p.m. This comes after GM and LG parted ways on a fourth electric vehicle battery plant that could have been in New Carlisle. GM and Samsung are now partnering on the estimated $3.5 billion venture.


Officials said the new plan would be about $1 billion more costly, increases the average worker wage to $24 dollars an hour and covers 3-million square feet of land between two buildings.


Some of the information that has not changed between the two ventures is they'd both have around 1,600 workers and work on the project is expected to be done by late 2027.


The proposal will first be discussed by the County Council Committee, which meets at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday before reaching the full council one hour later.

50's Night in La Porte on Calendar

(La Porte, IN) - Residents and visitors will have a chance to take part in some 1950s-inspired fun, as La Porte will host its third annual '50s Cruise In at the corner of Lincolnway and Monroe Street on Friday, June 16th, from 6 to 10 p.m.


According to the mayor’s office, the evening will feature a classic car show, live entertainment by The Remedy Band, Artisan goods, in addition to local food and beverage vendors. People attending are encouraged to dress up in their best 1950s attire.


La Porte Events Director Brent Binversie said the event offers something for the whole family.


"We have a jam-packed summer events calendar this year and are really looking forward to starting things off with a bang.  The Cruise In has been a huge success over the last couple years, so we anticipate a large crowd and lots of fun,” he said.  


Binversie said the event is made possible by Centier Bank, as well as La Porte Events members.  To learn more about upcoming events or how to become a member, visit livinthelakelife.org.


The upcoming event is part of the Friday Night Live series, featuring a unique event once per month on Fridays throughout the summer. 

Alleged Dealer While Overdosing Charged

(Michigan City, IN) - Charges have been filed in connection with a La Porte woman overdosing inside her motel room.


Derrien Bartmess, 22, is charged with Dealing in a Schedule II Controlled Substance.


In March, authorities went to King’s Inn on the southern edge of Michigan City to arrest her on a warrant.  Police knocked on her motel room door but nobody answered. She was then spotted through a window, laying unresponsive in a bed.


Officers concerned about her safety were able to access a key to her door to get inside and noticed she was extremely pale.  One of her arms was cool to the touch and somewhat stiff, police said.  


She woke up after being given some Narcan.


According to police, Bartmess said she was overdosing after taking a pill containing fentanyl.  Police said she had more than 100 pills of various types on her possession along with over $200 in cash.

Arson Suspected in Rescue Blaze

(Michigan City, IN) - Members of a construction crew in Michigan City quite possibly saved the lives of a woman and four year old boy inside a burning mobile home in what police suspect was arson.

Pat O’Brien, 67, of Michigan City said he doesn’t consider himself a hero, though.


“I don’t know about that.  I think instinct takes over. We just did whatever we had to do,” he said.


Michigan City Fire Department spokesperson Tia Free said firefighters about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday responded to Dunewood Village Mobile Home Community along Indiana 212 on the city’s far east side.


A caller reported a residence on fire and two people along with a dog were trapped inside.


Before firefighters arrived, O’Brien and he and two members of his crew were pouring cement for driveways at several new homes in the trailer park. 


O’Brien said they heard glass breaking then saw smoke and flames coming from the single wide mobile home.  He said they ran over and started yelling in hopes of drawing the attention of anyone who might be inside. They also opened the front door to try and go inside but were driven away by intense heat and heavy smoke.


O’Brien said they started busting windows out of the home and continued to scream when they heard what sounded like someone inside the dwelling. He said about half of the home was on fire with flames reaching about 10 feet high when, suddenly, a woman approached one of the broken windows. The men reached in and grabbed her then carried the woman out through the broken window at the rear of the home.


Moments later, O’Brien said the boy looking very frightened with soot on his face came to another broken window a short distance away. He was also safely guided through the opening in the window frame.


After the boy nodded his head that he was thirsty, O’Brien said he ran to his truck and grabbed a bottle of water for him to drink.


“He was in shock, I’m sure.  He was shaking pretty good,” he said.


The dog was also taken out of the home through a broken window.


Firefighters arrived a short time later.


“If we had waited for the fire department, I don’t think they would have made it,” O’Brien said.


Free said the 77-year-old woman, Sandra Root, was airlifted from Franciscan Health in Michigan City to a burn unit in Ft. Wayne.  The woman suffered burns to the inside of her throat from breathing heated air, she said.


Free said the boy was treated at a local hospital for undisclosed minor injuries and later released. The name of the boy was not released.


Authorities said the unharmed dog was placed into the custody of Michigan City Animal Control.


The mobile home was considered a total loss.


“There’s not much left inside of it. It was pretty far gone when we got there,” Free said.


According to police, the initial findings of the ongoing investigation revealed the fire was intentionally set.  So far, police have not shed light on exactly how they believe the fire was started. Local law enforcement detectives and investigators from the fire department are working together on the case.

Grant Supporting Good Mental Health

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte Community School Corporation is one of just three applicants statewide to receive grant addressing substance abuse and mental health.


According to school officials, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Project AWARE Grant will impact over 6,100 students in the La Porte community.


SAMHSA will focus on needs related to overall wellness, provide students and families access to mental health services and reduce the stigma around mental health awareness.


Specifically, the funding, over a four year period, will support early identification and provide training along with resources for staff to meet current challenges facing students. The La Porte School Corporation’s Project AWARE team will partner with the Indiana Department of Education and local mental health providers to support building positive habits, coping techniques and fostering a safe and healthy environment for all students and staff.


Already, student sponsored clubs at La Porte High School and La Porte Middle School have accepted the challenge to create a culture supporting mental health. 


In honor of Mental Health Awareness month, both clubs joined forces and organized a student walk at the Kesling track. Over 70 La Porte students in grades 7-12 gathered to participate in the event to celebrate a commitment to mental health awareness and support. 


“Mental health is a part of our society which is easily ignored because of its stigma. This initiative provides our students the opportunity to have discussions about mental wellness and what we can do to support the well-being of ourselves and others,” said LPCSC Mental Health Counselor and Bring Change to Mind Club Advisor, Christine Rosenbaum.

Woman Airlifted Following Trailer Fire

(Michigan City, IN) - Two people and a dog were rescued from a burning mobile home this morning in Michigan City.


At roughly 8:30 a.m., firefighters were called to the Dunewood Village Mobile Home Park along Indiana 212 on the city’s far east side. Michigan City Fire Department Public Information Officer Tia Free said members of a nearby construction crew hearing the commotion went over and busted a window out of the single wide trailer. They then reached in and helped both people and the dog out of the burning structure.


Free said a 77-year old woman wound up being airlifted to an outside hospital with burns to her throat from breathing in the heated air, in addition to a four-year-old boy who was treated and released. The names of both individuals were not disclosed. 


The dog was unharmed.


Free said firefighter Eugene Hanas was also hurt but his injuries were minor.


The house trailer was destroyed.


“There’s not much left inside of it. It was pretty far gone when we got there,” she said.   


She said the cause of the fire remained under investigation by the Michigan City Fire Department and Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office.

Adjusting to Life Without Louie's

(La Porte, IN) - Some La Porte residents might feel like a fish out of water today, as it’s the first day Louie’s Café has not been around in more than 40 years.  The restaurant in La Porte’s downtown closed after serving lunch yesterday.


Originally, they were supposed to close at their regular time of 4 p.m.


However, owner Tom Vasilarakos said they had to shut the doors about one hour early because it was so busy they ran out of food.


He said the final order at the restaurant started by his late father, Louie, was biscuits and gravy.  Vasilarakos said he was not surprised considering he felt before the doors closed that biscuits and gravy would be the legacy from the menu left by the restaurant.


“It’s an amazing reception of the town here.  They’ve been supporting us for almost a half century now.  It’s just amazing and I’m glad to have been part of that,” he said.


A number of customers and employees shed tears and shared fond memories of what became a La Porte institution after the doors first opened in 1977. 


Louie's Cafe had been at Lincolnway and Madison Street since 1985. 


Vasilarakos, 60, started working for his father at age 15 then became the owner of the restaurant following the passing of his father in 2013.


He said the restaurant was still very busy.  He simply wanted a change and plans to become a personal physical fitness instructor with the certification he's already earned. 

Mayor the Target of Another Recall Attempt

(New Buffalo, MI) - Another effort is being waged to remove from office the mayor of New Buffalo, who survived a recall attempt last year.


New Buffalo resident and business owner John Taylor has filed a recall petition to oust John Humphrey, who’s in the third year of his four-year term on the city council.


Humphrey has been appointed mayor by the city council in each of his first three years of his term.


Taylor said the recall attempt is over the “enormous” increase last year in water and sewer rates in the city.  Residents, on average, have witnessed about a 50-percent increase in their bi-monthly bills.


“This is just one more issue that clearly demonstrates his inability to be in the position that he is in,” Taylor said.


The Berrien County Election Board has scheduled a hearing for May 31st at 2 p.m. to decide whether to approve or reject the language on the recall petition.


The language would be the reason cited on the ballot when voters are asked to decide whether to retain or recall Humphrey.


If the language is approved, a required number of signatures from registered voters in New Buffalo would have to be obtained and validated by the election board for a special election to be called.


Taylor helped gather signatures during last year’s recall attempt over Humphrey’s support of a ban on more short term rentals in residential areas of the city.  The number of validated signatures, though, fell short of what was required for a special election to be held.


Taylor said he’s optimistic about meeting the signature requirement this time because he and other detractors of Humphrey are more familiar with the process and plan to start approaching people on a list of who signed last year’s recall petition.


“It makes our job significantly easier because we’re going to revisit those individuals.  I think we’ll be successful,” he said.


Humphrey said most of the rate hike is from increasing the ready to serve fee on sewer service from $14 to $60.


He said the increase was needed because rates hadn’t been raised enough since the late 1990’s to keep up with the city’s share of the rising cost for operating and maintaining the waste water treatment plant.


“We have fixed it to protect the long term sustainability of our sewer system. People need to understand that,” he said.


New Buffalo, New Buffalo Township, Chikaming Township, Lake Township and Bridgman form the Galien River Sanitary District, which operates and maintains the plant also serving Weesaw Township.


Humphrey said the city’s fund used for plant operation and maintenance had more than $300,000 in red ink annually in recent years because of inflation outpacing the amount collected in sewer fees.


Property tax revenue was allocated to cover the yearly sewer fund deficits, he said.


Humphrey said the sewer fund now has a surplus, which frees up property tax dollars serving the debt to go toward roads and other projects in the city.


He also said removing him from office will not lower the water and sewer rates.


“That’s the bottom line,” he said.


Humphrey claimed the same people involved in the previous recall petition are behind the most recent effort to remove him from office for personal reasons that include the new restrictions on short term rentals.


He also vowed to review every signature on the recall petition and challenge every one they believe is not legitimate.


“I think the public has had it with this group of people and I think you’re going to see a lot more public push back against this recall,” he said.

Stray Bullet Strikes Woman at Gathering

(New Carlisle, IN) - Police are investigating a stray bullet hitting 25-year-old woman during a graduation party in New Carlisle.  It happened on Barn Owl Court, according to St. Joseph County Police.

The victim, whose name has not been released, felt a sudden impact then realized something tore through her clothing and broke her skin.  She reportedly didn’t know she had been shot until she returned home to Ohio.  The bullet was found lodged in her hip by a doctor cleaning the infected wound.


Police were notified of the incident on May 10 but report no leads after speaking with witnesses and neighbors.

Driver Sought in Stray Tire Collision

(La Porte County, IN) - La Porte County Police are hoping a surveillance video will lead to the arrest of a motorist who failed to report damage from a stray tire from the suspect’s vehicle. 


The video, dated May 6th, captures the scene outside Waterford Inn at 6466 West Johnson Road.  It shows the vehicle driving by when one of its tires rolls away into the parking area of the business.


"The tire quickly travels across the parking lot of the saloon and crashes into a parked pickup truck near the building," La Porte County police said.


After damaging the truck, police said the tire rolled back across the parking lot and out to Johnson Road.  The vehicle missing a wheel then parked next to the damaged truck.


"The driver fails to make contact with anyone inside the establishment and leaves a short time later," according to the department.


Anyone with information on the incident is encouraged to contact Deputy Jacob Payne at jpayne@lcso.in.gov.

Pridefest Returning to Michigan City

(Michigan City, IN) - Pridefest is returning this year to Michigan City.


Last year, the event drew about 4,500 people, according to Pridefest organizers.


The event itineray includes concerts in the band shell at Washington Park, along with food trucks and 30 other vendors offering pride merchandise, among other offerings.


Pride fest is scheduled June 17th from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.  Officials say the event attracts people from the entire region and other states.


Pridefest debuted in 2019 but was cancelled the following two years due to the pandemic.

New Principal for New Prairie

(NEW CARLISLE, IN) -  School board members wasted no time naming a new high school principal following the sudden departure of JR Shelt.


On Monday night, the board voted unanimously to appoint Justin Heinold to lead the high school.  Heinold has been principal at Prairie View Elementary School since August of 2021, having prior served as assistant principal of New Prairie Middle School for four years.


Previously a science teacher, Heinold studied at the University of Indianapolis and earned a Master’s Degree in school administration from Ball State. He graduated from La Porte High School as Valedictorian of his class in 2006.


In a statement released following Monday’s meeting, school board members praised Heinold “for his infectious positive attitude, attention to student learning, and ability to collaborate with all stakeholders to find positive results for students.”


Heinold expressed his excitement to move up the leadership ladder.


“I am thrilled and humbled to be serving as the next Principal of New Prairie High School!” he said. “Having served in the district for the past six years, I already know that I am joining a school with an excellent tradition, and we will continue to work together to serve the students and the families of the community to the best of our abilities."


Previous principal JR Shelt, who served less than a year, resigned to take a similar position at a high school in Indianapolis, which he began on Monday.


Heinold, who was given a two-year contract, will not assume his new role until July.


New Prairie wraps up its current school year this week.

Stretch of Highway Closure Set for Summer

(La Porte County, IN) - A stretch of state highway in La Porte County will be closed beginning later this month.


According to the Indiana Department of Transportation, contractor Dunnet Bay Construction Company will close Indiana 2 between 400 N near Westville and 575 E in Porter County on or after May 30.


That stretch of roadway will be closed through early August for a structure replacement at West Branch Crooked Creek. As a result, motorists should seek an alternate route.  


The official detour will follow State Road 49 and U.S. 6, per INDOT.

Upcoming Open House at EMS Base

(La Porte County, IN) - An open house of the new EMS base in Rolling Prairie is scheduled this week.


La Porte County Emergency Medical Service Administrator Andrew McGuire said the base has made a noticeable difference in response times to patients in that area since opening just over two months ago.


That area, which includes Rolling Prairie, Heston, Hudson Lake and Mill Creek was previously serviced by ambulances from the EMS base in the City of La Porte.


“Some parts of that area were averaging about 18 to 20 minutes from La Porte and we’ve been able to get that down by half, if not, more to certain areas,” he said.


The public is invited to the open house set for Wednesday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.


McGuire said all three shifts are manned and the base has one ambulance but with room for two if expansion is needed in the future.


A new La Porte County Highway garage serving that area was also built recently on the site in the area of U.S. 20 and Indiana 2. 


The land once serving as a rest stop was donated by the Indiana Department of Transportation.


Construction of both facilities came in at about $2.3 million.

Grenade Victim Identified

(Lakes of the Four Seasons, IN ) - Authorities have identified a Northwest Indiana man killed by a hand grenade.


47-year-old Bryan Niedert was from Lakes of the Four Seasons. The community of more than 7,000 residents is west of Valparaiso and east of Merrillville.


The investigation shows Niedert and members of his family were searching through their grandfather’s belongings when they reportedly found a hand grenade, which detonated, killing Niedert and leaving his two teenage children with injuries from shrapnel.


Police are currently investigating whether one of the family members pulled the pin on the grenade.

Hitting Key for Slicers in Sectionals

(La Porte, IN) - The La Porte High School baseball team opens sectional play this week, with the Slicers having finished the regular season 17- 9.


Again, hitting was an issue in the final regular season game Friday when the Slicers defeated Kankakee Valley at home 1-0. Our very own Voice of the Slicers, Chip Jones, said the Slicers definitely have a chance to win the sectionals but need to get their bats going, especially with men on base.


The Slicers open the Plymouth sectionals Wednesday against South Bend Adams.   South Bend Adams defeated La Porte 2-0 earlier this season.


Jones said R.J. Anglin, who’s the ace of the Slicers pitching staff with a fastball approaching 90 miles per hour, will likely start the opening game of the post season. 


“Hitting is contagious.  If we can get one guy to maybe get a big hit, this team looks like it’s just waiting to explode,” he said.


La Porte finished third in the Duneland Conference this year.

Goodbye to Beloved Louie's Cafe

(La Porte, IN) - Customers flocked to Louie’s Café to say goodbye Monday, not just to an institution of downtown La Porte, but to people they saw as family.


Longtime customer Kelly Nelson of La Porte had all of the waitresses stand together during the breakfast rush for a group picture she took to help in keeping memories of the beloved restaurant alive.


“This is not about the food.  This is our family.   We’re going to miss them so much, all of these girls.  We love them all,” she said.


Nelson and her husband, Terry, brought their granddaughter, Taylor, whose picture as a toddler at the restaurant was included in a display of other customer photos at the checkout.


Louie Vasilarakos was a manager in the restaurant business in Merrillville when he opened his own doors in the city in 1977, said his son and current owner, Tom Vasilarakos.


Initially, he offered mainly sandwiches on the city’s east side before offering more of a traditional restaurant menu on the west end of the community. 


In 1985, Louie’s Café moved to Lincolnway and Madison Street where it’s been ever since.  


Vasilarakos, who worked for his father since he was 15, bought the restaurant from his mother, Denise, after Louie passed away in 2013.


Eventually, Vasilarakos, 60, said he needed a change from working 12 hour shifts, six days a week at the restaurant.  He said none of his children wanted to take over the establishment and he tried selling it but couldn’t find a buyer.


Itching to move on, Vasilarakos said closing became the only choice to begin a new chapter in his life, which began Saturday with marriage to his bride, Diana.


He’s going to pursue other passions such as a career as a certified personal physical fitness trainer and operate a recording studio for bands to produce their music.


“It’s time to pursue other things and get into something that’s a little less stressful,” he said.  


Nick Bernel was a member of the 1997 LaPorte High School basketball team when the squad was treated to a spaghetti dinner there before their trip to Indianapolis to play in the state finals.


Bernel, now an architect and restaurant owner in Washington D.C., said came home to visit his family a few days earlier than he originally planned so he could sit down for a final meal at Louie’s Café before it closed.


“It’s really sad but I’m glad he’s moving on and doing something else with his life,” he said.


Ed Snow and Art Smith had breakfast at Louie’s Café every Monday for the past 15 years and considered the restaurant sort of a home away from home.


“It’s a good place to come in, relax.  You can joke around and nobody gets offended.  It’s family.  It’s family.  It’s going to be missed,” Snow said.


Mary Choromokos, a waitress at the restaurant for 40-years, fought back tears while serving a number of customers unable to keep themselves from crying.


“Very, very sad. This is home.  Great boss.  Everybody is great here,” said Patty Metheny, a waitress for 14-years at the restaurant.


Annette Voorhees was a customer for 38-years prior to becoming a waitress there over two-years ago.


“I’m happy for them because they get to start a new adventure but I’m very sad about closing down.  Very sad,” she said.


Tom Demakas of Chesterton worked 40 years as a cook for his uncle, Louie, and later his cousin, Tom.


Demakas, 73, said he felt good about being able to retire from what can be a tough yet fun business.


He also felt badly for their customers.          


“We’ve been here a long time together.  It’s like family.  It’s going to be tough leaving but you got to retire sooner or later,” he said.


Vasilarakos said he started realizing today was the final day after reporting for work.  He felt biscuits and gravity will be the menu item most remembered by their customers.


Usually, he said the amount of sausage gravy that has to be made is about 30 gallons a week but increased to about 45 gallons a week recently after word spread about the restaurant closing.


“We’ve cooked a lot of meals for our community here and it’s been well appreciated.  I couldn’t ask for a better town to get something going in,” he said.

Ryden's Arm and Flores' Glove Lead Slicers to 1-0 Over KV

Sophomore Cody Ryden tossed an efficient two hit shutout and shortstop Kade Flores made three outstanding defensive plays as LP held off Kankakee Valley 1-0 in the 2023 regular season finale.


Ryden struck out just one hitter, but allowed the Kougars only three baserunners; one hit batsman and a pair of two out singles in the fourth. La Porte played errorless defense behind him with Kade Flores taking away three potential Kougar hits. 


With one out in the third Flores snagged a ground ball that looked like a sure hit up the middle. He made a solid throw, from an odd angle, to retire KV’s Tyler Smolek. In the fourth, he ranged deep into the hole, unleashed a perfect throw and nipped Colton Pribyl for the second out of the inning. The next two Kankakee Valley hitters got base hits making the play even more important. Then, in the top of the sixth, he robbed Luke Richie with a perfectly timed leap and catch. 


Offensively the Slicers continued to scuffle. LP scored the game’s only run in the bottom of the first inning. Ben Dubbs and Flores drew walks to lead off the inning. With runners on first and second RJ Anglin smashed a liner that looked like an extra base hit. KV right fielder Dylan Holmes made a running, leaping catch to rob Anglin. Dubbs was able to advance to third on the play. Drew Catron knocked Dubbs in with a sacrifice fly to center. Holmes ended the inning with a diving catch on Tommy Samuelson’s blooper to right.


The Slicers had just one hit in the game, an infield hit by Keli Hay, but had several scoring opportunities due to seven walks and a hit batsman by Kougar starter Spencer Childers. 


In the second inning Carter Moses drew a leadoff walk. Courtesy runner Drew Flores was picked off by the left handed Childers. Hay got his infield hit and Ryan Bruemmer was clipped by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a double steal putting runners on second and third with one out. Childers was able to strike out Kai Jones and get Dubbs to fly to center to end the inning. 


In the third, Kade Flores led off with a walk and advanced to third on a steal of second and a passed ball. Childers retired the next three hitters and LP came up empty. The Slicers also had runners at second and third with one out in the bottom of the sixth. A strike out and fly out to center to stranded the base runners.


Ryden was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game. Centerfielder, Ryan Bruemmer, got his first start since straining his hamstring three weeks ago. He reached twice and stole a base. He also made a nice running catch in deep center in the sixth.


La Porte finishes the regular season with a 17-9 record. They finished third in the DAC at 9-5. 


Sectional play begins Wednesday when the Slicers face South Bend Adams at 5:30 central time. The winner will face Plymouth in the second semifinal game on Saturday scheduled at 12:30. This game follows the 10 am Mishawaka/Michigan City game. Saturday’s winners play Memorial Day at 5:00 PM for the championship.

Passenger Train Collides With Vehicle

(St. Joseph County, IN) - A passenger train collided with a car just east of La Porte County earlier this week.


On Tuesday night just before 8:30 p.m. Central time, an Amtrak train struck an unoccupied vehicle on the tracks at the crossing at Quince Road between State Road 2 and U.S. 20.


According to Amtrak, there were 110 passengers on the train, which was heading eastbound from Chicago to Washington, D.C. No injuries were reported, and the train was able to resume its journey.

New Prairie "Shelt" Shocked at Principal's Departure

(New Carlisle, IN) - At New Prairie, the NP right now stands for No Principal. The high school’s chief executive, JR Shelt has resigned and will take over elsewhere before this school year even ends.


Shelt came to New Prairie just last summer from the Indianapolis area, and it appears he’s heading back. Shelt takes over on Monday as principal at Arsenal Tech. It’s a bit of a homecoming. Shelt started his teaching career at Arsenal.


New Prairie is currently searching for his replacement.

Body Recovered from Tippecanoe River

(White County, IN) - Indiana Conservation Officers retrieved a body from the Tippecanoe River in Monticello Thursday.


Shortly after 5 p.m., White County 911 dispatch received a call from a nearby resident who discovered the body.


The deceased person was identified as 42-year-old Justin T. Younkin of Monticello. Authorities are still trying to determine what Younkin was doing prior to his death. Cause of death is pending autopsy results.

New Law Tightens Absentee Voting

(Indianapolis, IN) - A new law tightening absentee voting requirements was signed this week.


On Tuesday, Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1334, which requires some form of identification to be included with a mail-in ballot.


Acceptable proofs of I.D. include the last four digits of your social security number, a driver's license number, or state I.D. or voter registration number.


Republican state representative Tim Wesco of Osceola sponsored the bill. The law goes into effect July 1st.

Red Wine & Brew '68 Mustang Drawing

(La Porte, IN) - A chance to win a classic car is among the highlights of a major upcoming annual La Porte area event. People can enter a drawing for a 1968 Ford Mustang convertible as part of the annual Red Wine & Brew festival, which has been extended to three days this year.


Carrie Garwood of Bethany Lutheran Church, which sponsors the heavily attended event, said tickets to enter the drawing for the car are available right now.


“That has been incredibly popular.  Super nice,” she said.


A variety of concerts mostly by country music artists from Nashville will be among the other highlights of Red Wine and Brew, which begins June 30th.


Craft beer tasting and other craft beverages will be featured during the first day of the event, near the Summit Farm along Johnson Road at 500 West.


There will also be a drone and fireworks show after sunset on each of the first two days of the event held to raise money to help local emergency responders.


Tickets for Red Wine & Brew can purchased online or by calling the church at 362-3312.

La Porte Farmers Market Rebranded

(La Porte, IN) - The annual farmers market in La Porte will have a new look this year, as local entrepreneurial group, The Collective, has revitalized the La Porte Farmers Market for the 2023 season.


Rebranded as Farmed & Forged (FF), this producers-only market is all about shopping from the source. It's a market featuring local farmers, artisans, restaurants, breweries and nonprofits, all within a 100-mile radius of La Porte.

The market will take place on Sundays from 11am-3pm CST from May 28th through September 24th on Monroe Street between State Street and Lincolnway in downtown La Porte.


FF will also highlight a local nonprofit organization on a monthly basis and all donations collected at the market will be given to the nonprofit.


The May/June markets will benefit the Michiana Humane Society.

Opening day for the Market is on Sunday, May 28th. 

Attendees will enjoy the following:

  • Free Admission, all ages welcome
  • Booths by local farmers, producers, makers & foragers
  • High-quality artisan vendors
  • Locally-made food & drinks
  • Live music by Robert Feddersen

Additionally, the second Sunday of each month will feature live music and cooking demos by local chefs, with the first “Second Sunday” kicking off on June 11th.

Also beginning on June 11th, select FF vendors will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) vouchers for fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, cereals, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, herbs and seeds/plants that produce food.


SNAP, formerly known as the Food Stamp Program, is a federal program that provides food-purchasing assistance for low- and no-income individuals and families.

For more information and to apply to be a vendor, please visit thecollectivein.com/fandf.

Grade School Teacher of the Year Named

(La Porte, IN) - La Porte has named its elementary school Teacher of the Year.


Alice Tallackson is a kindergarten teacher at Crichfield Elementary School where she’s been for 24 of her 37 years in education. She was partially described as providing a safe and caring environment for her students.


Tallackson also took the lead in learning about the endangered Monarch butterfly population to teach her students and the community on ways to help the species.


“Mrs. Tallackson is such a patient, caring and gifted teacher. Her students, parents, colleagues adore her because of her work ethic, ability to effectively communicate and that she always puts kids’ needs first,” said Crichfield Principal Tearsa Schable.


Tallackson is also an active member and leader of the Crichfield Reading Committee, which aims to motivate students to read in hopes they develop a love for reading.


Her other involvement at school includes partnering with counselors to help students master valuable life skills and achieve their goals.

Students Treated to Day at the Beach

(La Porte, IN) - About 300 grade school students in La Porte were treated to a day at the beach and other outdoor activities to celebrate the end of the school year.


Students in all grade levels at Riley Elementary School were taken to Stone Lake Beach.  Principal Kristen Doty said the children played in the sand, attended physical education classes at nearby Lions Field and made water balloons.  The librarian also read stories to the students in a nearby wooded area.


Doty said the students were also treated to lunch and a snack before returning to the school five hours later.


“The kids has a good time. One little girl said this was the best day of her life. Of course, she was a kindergartner,” she said.


Doty said there about 350 people, including staff members, went on the outdoor field trip a short distance from the school on Weller Avenue

Crash Involving Semi Closes U.S. 20

(La Porte County, IN) - A stretch of four-lane highway was closed this morning due to a motor vehicle crash at U.S. 20 and 250 East, involving a semi-truck and at least one other vehicle.


Police said the eastbound and westbound lanes of US 20 were closed from Fail Road to 300 East. The stretch of U.S. 20 will be closed for an extended period of time.


There was an injury, yet we do not currently know the extent thereof or condition of the people involved.  

Fentanyl Dealer Exposed on Toilet

(Michigan City, IN) - Charges have been filed against a suspected drug dealer nabbed during a foot chase, triggered by a traffic stop in Michigan City. Armon Sanders, 24, is lucky to be alive because he allegedly concealed a large number of fentanyl tablets in his rectum.


According to court documents, he fled from the passenger side of a vehicle stopped for a traffic violation Saturday and continued to run despite repeated commands for him to stop.


He was spotted placing his backpack and jacket into a trash can behind a residence in the 100 block of Orchard Street before being grabbed. He was then taken to the police department, where he expressed a need to use the bathroom.


An officer, suspecting he was trying to dispose of drugs, asked him a short time later to stand up from the toilet. Sanders then grabbed a plastic baggie from the toilet and tried to reinsert the baggie into his anus.


Police were able to take possession of the baggie, which allegedly contained 75 tablets containing fentanyl.  Sanders is also accused of having about a half pound of marijuana elsewhere on his possession.

New Buffalo Rejects Marijuana Sales

(New Buffalo, MI) - The City of New Buffalo has given a thumbs down to the sale of marijuana.


There was a tie vote by the city council Monday night on allowing for the retail sale of marijuana. Approval by a majority of the five member council is required for measures to be adopted.


Councilman Roger Lijewski did not vote to avoid a conflict of interest because he owns the building that once housed the Wheel Inn restaurant, one of the few locations where the sale of marijuana would be allowed under current zoning.


Mayor John Humphrey said he opposed the sale of marijuana to save the city time and money from defending itself against lawsuits he expected to be filed.


Had marijuana been allowed, Humphrey said the city's zoning ordinance was deemed too restrictive by people wanting to open marijuana shops in locations not allowed under the current zoning.,


Humphrey said he did not want the city sued and forced to allow shops to operate throughout the community should a legal battle prove unsuccessful.


“They didn’t overtly threaten to sue us but it was very clear they were intending to litigate the city,” he said.


Humphrey said the revenue the city would collect from such operations would probably not be enough to recover its legal expenses.


There could be an effort to have voters decide whether to allow for the sale of marijuana through a referendum, where if approved, Humphrey said lawsuits could not be filed against the city since it would be the public making the sale of marijuana legal under less restrictive state laws governing their location.


New Buffalo Township recently voted to allow for the sale of marijuana within its jurisdiction outside the city limits.


Currrently, the township is accepting applications from people seeking to operate marijuana shops.

Scissors Removed Safely from Anal Cavity

(La Porte County, IN) - A pair of scissors were located Wednesday inside an individual getting booked into the La Porte County Jail.


La Porte County Police said everyone arrested must take part in a body scan before released into the jail, and in this case, the scanning device produced the image of a foreign metal object inside the anal cavity of the offender.


Quickly, the object was identified as a pair of scissors and confirmed during a second scan of the individual. The scissors, measuring over eight inches long, were safely removed from the individual a short time later.


The body scanner was purchased in 2017 for about $100,000 in response to drugs finding their way into the jail. Ever since, drugs and even tattooing equipment have been among the items recovered from inside offenders being checked in, police said. 


This time, La Porte County Police Capt. Derek Allen says the scanner kept a potential weapon out of the jail.


“It’s proven time and time again to prevent foreign material from making their way into the jail and, ultimately, ensuring the safety and security of all, not just inmates but staff,” he said.


Allen said the motive for concealing the scissors in that manner remains investigation.  The name of the offender was not released.

Missed Opportunities Cost Slicers in 7-3 Loss to Valpo

For the second day in a row, a lack of timely hitting cost the Slicer baseball team vs Valparaiso. Tuesday LP had seven hits compared to one bunt single for the Vikings only to fall 1-0. Wednesday, at Schreiber Field, LaPorte out hit the Vikes eight to seven but left 10 men on base falling 7-3.


Valparaiso took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Slicer starter Grant Olson hit leadoff man Trent Gill with a pitch. Nate Brumfield chopped an infield single down the third base line and Caden Crowel drew a walk to load the bases with no one out. Max Reaume hit a deep fly to center field. Kai Jones made a nice running catch, but Gill tagged and scored easily. Olson got Miles Cvelbar to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to avoid any more damage.


LP tied it up in the bottom of the first. Ben Dubbs reached on a throwing error by shortstop DJ Malloy. Kade Flores bunted Dubbs to second and RJ Anglin singled up the middle for an RBI. After a Drew Catron fly out, Anglin strayed too far from first and was picked off first when Valpo catcher Reaume threw behind him to end the first with the score 1-1.


Valpo scored again in the third. Gill drew a leadoff walk, stole second and scored on a Crowell single to make it 2-1 Vikings. La Porte tied it up in the bottom of the inning. Kai Jones reached on a throwing error, stole second then went to third on a balk by Viking starter Jimmie Shifflett. He scored on a Dubbs RBI ground out to second. Flores drew a walk and stole second but was stranded there when Anglin was called out on strikes. It was 2-2 after three innings.


Both teams again scored single runs in the fourth. Cvelbar drew a leadoff walk. Ian Wilson bunted him to second. Cvelbar scored on a ground rule double by Kaden Matthews. The Slicers did pick up the tying run in the bottom of the inning but let a potential huge inning slip away. Catron smacked a solid single to center. Tommy Samuelson rolled a single through the right side of the infield putting Slicers on first and second with no outs. Carter Moses laid down what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt. Shifflett slipped trying to field the ball and Moses had a bunt single. With no outs and the bases loaded Jax Land hit a soft liner that landed in front of second baseman Gill. He threw to plate forcing Catron. Keli Hay beat out a slow roller to second to drive in a run and keep the bases loaded. A Jones strike out and Dubbs ground out ended the fourth with the score tied 3-3.


Valpo broke the game open in the fifth, sending nine hitters to the plate and scoring four times. Gill started the inning with what looked like a harmless popup to the mound. Pitcher Olson and third baseman Catron were in the area but miscommunicated and the ball fell untouched on the mound for a base hit. Brumfield ripped a double to left putting runners at second and third. Crowell blooped a single into right to score Gill. Reaume walked to reload the bases. La Porte pulled in the infield and Brumfield scored on a grounder by Cvelbar that moved the shortstop Flores to his left. Flores knocked the ball down but was unable to get the force at the plate making it 5-3. Two RBI sacrifice flies later it was 7-3. Samuelson came into relieve Olson and got the final out. 


The Slicers looked they might counter with a big inning of their own in the bottom of the fifith. The first two hitters, Flores, a single, and Anglin, a walk, reached base. Catron hit into a 4-6 force out and Samuelson hit into a double play to end the inning.


Samuelson retired six of seven hitters in the sixth and seventh, allowing no runs and only one hit. In the La Porte sixth Land was hit by a pitch with one out and Jones drew a two out walk. LP loaded the bases on an infield hit by Dubbs. Flores grounded out to end the inning. In the seventh, Samuelson reached on a two out error but the game ended on a Land line drive to right that was snagged by Matthews giving Valpo the 7-3 victory.


The Slicers had runners on base in every inning. They hit into two double plays and had a runner picked off. They loaded the bases in the fourth with no one out and scored just once. The first two Slicer hitters reached base in the fifth and didn’t score. They also had the bases loaded in the sixth and came up empty. 


Olson pitched 4 2/3 innings giving up seven runs on seven hits. He struck out four, walked three and hit one. Samuelson finished up pitching 2 1/3 innings of one hit ball, striking out two.


Samuelson was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game. Beside his solid relief pitching, the 6’5 senior was the only Slicer with multiple hits going two for four. 


Coach Scott Upp shuffled his lineup for this one trying to get as many bats into the lineup as possible. Anglin was the DH after pitching on Tuesday. Normal DH Land played first and regular first baseman Samuelson patrolled left field before coming in to pitch. Six Slicers besides Samuelson had hits. Ryan Bruemmer who has been out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury played left field when Samuelson came in to pitch.


The Slicers fall to 16-9 on the season. They finish third in the DAC at 9-5. Lake Central was a perfect 14-0 and Valpo 11-3. La Porte finishes their regular season with a 6:30 home game vs Kankakee Valley on Friday night. 


Sectional play starts at Plymouth on Wednesday. The Slicers will face South Bend Adams at 5:30 central time. The winner will play Plymouth on Saturday after the Mishawaka/Michigan City semifinal game.  The Championship game will be played Memorial Day with the winner advancing to the June 3rd La Porte Regional.

Police Taking Aim at Gun Violence

(Michigan City, IN) - Michigan City Police are increasing patrols to try and reduce gun violence.


So far this year, officers have responded to more than 180 calls of shots fired in the community, the overall gunfire having resulted in a death along with injuries and property damage. 


Over the past several months, Michigan City Police Chief Steve Forker and other members of his administration have met with community leaders, citizens and public safety officials from the surrounding area on how to curb the gun violence.


Police said increased “proactive patrols” aimed at curbing the problem will be taking place with help from outside law enforcement agencies. Officers from the La Porte County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police and the municipalities of La Porte, Trail Creek and Long Beach will be used to increase patrols. 


“The residents of Michigan City along the visitors deserve to enjoy all the amenities Michigan City has to offer without having to hear gunshots being fired or being afraid,” said Michigan City Police Lt. Steve Westphal.


Michigan City is not alone, with 50 people on average losing their lives daily from gun violence nationwide.

Upstart Bison Now Ailing in Skid

(New Buffalo, MI) - The New Buffalo High School baseball team dropped below the .500 mark on the season after pounded in both games of a doubleheader at home on Tuesday.


The losses to Michigan Lutheran were the latest in a six game skid containing just one victory for the once upstart Bison.


New Buffalo (8-9-1) lost to the Titans 12-1 and 18-3.


Gio Sanchez-Perez was the starting pitcher for the Bison in the first game, which was competitive until the fifth inning when Michigan Lutheran went up 8-0 after scoring five runs.


The Titans led off the inning with a triple to right field and a hard hit single.   The next batter walked then another run scored on a too hot to handle line drive off the glove of third baseman Max Nikkel.


Sam Wendell-Suppa, who took the mound in the fourth inning, walked another hitter then two more runs scored on an infield error.


The final run of the inning for the Titans resulted from a wild pitch.


New Buffalo came back to score a run after Nicholas Wolfe reached base on a catcher interference with the batter call by the home plate umpire. Wolfe advancing to third base after the next two batters made outs was driven home on a sharply hit single to left field by Axel Rodriguez.


Another single from Ethan Lijewski followed but the next hitter ended the inning with a strikeout.


Michigan Lutheran (12-7) scored four more times in the final inning pitched by Wolfe, who walked four batters but showed good potential.


New Buffalo dropped to 5-6-1 in conference play while the Titans advanced to 8-2 in the conference.


The Bison scored just three runs while giving up 35 runs in their previous three losses against Lawrence and Our Lady of the Lake. 


The last victory for New Buffalo was a 5-2 win against Lawrence.

Enhanced Seat Belt Enforcement Underway

(La Porte County, IN) - Drivers need to buckle up now or run a greater risk of being ticketed or seriously hurt and killed. 


The La Porte County Sheriff’s Office is joining agencies from across the state during the annual nationwide “Click It or Ticket” high-visibility enforcement effort.


The seat belt campaign, which coincides with the Memorial Day holiday, runs from May 15th to June 4th.


Federal dollars are used to pay officers to work overtime for beefing up patrols to look for violators.


“Our goal is for seat belt use to be an automatic habit for drivers and passengers alike,” said La Porte County Police Capt. Derek J. Allen.


Statistics show unbuckled motorists make up almost 40% of all passenger vehicle deaths in the state. 


Since the “Click It or Ticket” initiative began more than 20 years ago, seat belt use has gone up by one-third in Indiana to 93 percent.  The national national average for seat belt use is 91.6 percent.


Despite progress and advances in vehicle safety, 236 unbuckled vehicle occupants lost their lives on Indiana roads last year, the third highest total in the past decade, according to police.


Young drivers, especially males, were most likely to speed and the least likely to be buckled during a crash.


“If our enforcement effort alerts people to the dangers of unrestrained driving, we’ll consider our mission to be a success,” Allen said.

Charges Decided in Whopping Pot Discovery

(La Porte County, IN) - Charges have now been decided in connection with close to 300 pounds of marijuana confiscated by La Porte County Police.


Luis Dorantes Perez, 38, has been charged with Level 5 felony Dealing in Marijuana, having been arrested Monday and placed under a 48-hour hold to give prosecutors time to review the evidence and determine charges.


He was pulled over near Rolling Prairie after an officer caught him speeding on the Indiana Toll Road. There, nearly 60 five-pound packages of partially vacuum-sealed marijuana and over a dozen one-pound packages of marijuana were allegedly found in the back end of his rent-a-car. A blanket hid the entire load until it was removed by the officer who detected its smell.


The man, from the state of Washington, told police he was his way to New York City from his home state to deliver the pot “from his work,” according to investigators.


Dorantes Perez could face an up to six-year prison sentence, and is scheduled to appear before La Porte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos for his initial hearing in the case on Friday.


The suspect is still being held in the La Porte County Jail on $15,000 bond.

Slicers Drop 1-0 Agonizing Decision to Valpo

The La Porte baseball team traveled to Valparaiso Tuesday afternoon to battle the Vikings for second place in the DAC.  Both teams came in with 9-3 conference records, trailing only 12-0 Lake Central. The Slicers had seven hits and put runners on base in five of the seven innings. Valpo had three base runners the entire game on two walks and a bunt single but came away with a 1-0 win. 


RJ Anglin and Valpo’s talented lefty Caden Crowell hooked up in an epic pitchers' dual. Anglin pitched six innings allowing one run and one hit, a bunt single. He struck out 10 and walked two. Crowell fanned eleven Slicers, walked none and allowed seven hits in the shutout.


Anglin retired the first eight hitters he faced and allowed only one base runner through four innings. The Slicers got a two out single from Anglin the first and a two out double by Ben Dubbs in third. Dubbs moved to third on a balk but was stranded there when Crowell retired Kade Flores on strikes.


The fifth inning decided the game. 


Tommy Samuelson led off the top of the fifth with a solid single to center. Keli Hay hit a hard ground ball that brought Valpo shortstop DJ Malloy right to second base and the Vikings turned a 6-3 double play. Jax Land then ripped a two out double to deep left center and moved to third on Kai Jones’ infield hit. Dubbs hit the ball hard to the outfield but Valpo center fielder Miles Cvelbar made a nice running catch to end the inning.


Valpo scored the only run of the game in the bottom of the fifth. Ian Wilson drew a walk to lead the inning off. He moved to second on a wild pitch. Cvelbar laid a bunt down on the right side of the infield that neither Anglin nor first baseman Samuelson could field putting Vikings on first and third with no outs. Valpo first baseman Trevor Fenters hit a long sacrifice fly to left, driving in Wilson for the game’s only score.


The Slicers got a two out double from Drew Catron in sixth but came up empty. In the seventh Samuelson led off with his second single of the game. After Hay struck out and Land lined out to right, Samuelson stole second and later advanced to third on a wild pitch. With Samuelson at third and two outs Jones was called out on a very borderline 2-2 pitch to end the game. 


Anglin and Samuelson were named co-Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Players of the game. Anglin had a hit along with this outstanding mound work. Samuelson was 2-3 with a stolen base. Both teams played errorless baseball. 


La Porte can finish the season in a tie for second with a win over the Vikings Wednesday at Schreiber Field. First pitch scheduled for 5:00 PM.

La Porte Youth Team Wins Baseball Title

(La Porte, IN) - There’s a championship youth baseball team from La Porte.


The LaPorte Crush 11U Black team won the Easton Super NIT Bullpen Tournament at the Grand Park Sports Campus over the Mother’s Day weekend.


The facility is in Westfield north of Indianapolis.


Pictured in the front row from left to right are: Troy Kirsch, Oliver Czupryna, Levi Kanney, Hudson Badger, Bryce Cadwell, Isaiah Forker.


In the back row from left to right are: Nolan Pichardo, Carson Kirsch, Sullivan Schoof and Cohen Kalsow.

La Porte on Track for Minor League Baseball

(La Porte, IN) - Baseball players with dreams of playing in the major leagues could be taking the field in La Porte.


The city has approved a “memorandum of understanding” signed by the independent Northern League to officially declare its intention to establish a team here.


The minor league organization already has active teams in places like Crown Point, and wants to add La Porte to its competitive line-up. Right now, the teams consist of both professionals and collegiate players.


Mayor Tom Dermody said it makes sense for a team to be here considering La Porte is the “baseball capital of Indiana.”


“They want to be in La Porte.  We’ve been discussing for about 11 months now and it was time to sign. They’re excited,” he said.


Dermody said the Northern League recently took similar action for a team to be established in Elkhart. 


The next step is to find an owner or ownership group.


“Anybody interested in always wanting to own a minor league baseball, now is the time to get involved,” he said.


Dermody said the name of the team and where it would play are still among the topics that won’t be decided until there’s an owner. He said the hope is to have a Northern League team in La Porte playing competitively next season.

Cold Washed-Up Body Case Reopened

(New Buffalo, MI) - Police have resumed efforts to identify the body of a woman that washed ashore more than 30 years ago in New Buffalo.


Michigan State Police and New Buffalo Police are asking for any assistance in identifying the woman believed to be 40-to-60 years of age. Police said she was 5’5” and 175 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. She was believed to be wearing a wig or extensions pulled up from the scalp.


The body was recovered at the New Buffalo break wall in April of 1988. It was exhumed in 2021 to collect a DNA sample and during another examination the woman originally believed to be white was later determined to be African-American. 


An autopsy revealed she had undergone a hysterectomy. The woman was also believed to have been well off financially judging by her dental work. 


Police said the body was naked from the waist up when found. Her lower extremities were covered by men’s size-38 denim blue jeans with a wide double-ring striped-cloth belt.


She was also wearing red-white-and-blue shorts with full-length pantyhose and black zippered, top-ankle boots.


Anyone with any information about the woman should call the Michigan State Police Niles Post at 269-683-4411 or the New Buffalo Police Department at 269-469-1500.

Marijuana Found in Truck Route Violation Stop

(La Porte, IN) - A semi driver with marijuana in his possession was arrested after ignoring no truck route signs in La Porte.


Jason Mobley, 29, was arrested Monday afternoon.


According to La Porte County Police, an officer was monitoring traffic at 200 North and Fail Road, which are used frequently by commercial motor vehicles despite the posting of no truck route signs. Mobley was stopped after disregarding such.


The officer while approaching the cab detected an odor of raw marijuana then arrested Mobley after discovering a warrant out for his arrest for failing to appear in court on a marijuana related charge in another Indiana county.


With help from a K-9 dog, police identified seven grams of marijuana, along with a glass pipe containing burnt marijuana and other drug paraphernalia that were located in the cab. A handgun and 90 rounds of ammunition also turned up during the search, which was illegal for Mobley to have due to a prior felony conviction in his home state of Tennessee.


Mobley had just picked up a load from a La Porte area bread factory prior to being stopped, police said. 

Donut Eating Contest Nears

(Michigan City, IN) - The Salvation Army in Michigan City is getting ready to celebrate National Donut Day with the 8th annual Donut Eating Contest.

17 contenders will compete to see who can eat the most donuts in 10 minutes. It’s scheduled June 2nd at Blue Chip Casino.


The free and open to the public event will begin at 10 a.m.


Competing this year will be: Lee Ann Killingbeck, The Boys & Girls Club of La Porte County; Terry Voltz, Rotary Club of Michigan City; Cody French, Michigan City Area Schools; Felica Carmichael, GAF; Jim Carmichael, Lippert; Dave Sisk, United Way of La Porte County; Chief Steve Forker, Michigan City Police Department; Kris Jackson, Jackson’s Removal Service; George Sidney, Williams Dedicated; Sgt. James Lear, La Porte County Sheriff’s Office; Kip Piper, Guardian Riders; Jo Davis, Harbour Trust & Investment Management; Mark Kline, Phi Delta Kappa; Harmony Schweizer, Blue Chip Casino; Tony Lemon, Cleveland Cliffs; Ricky Nagy, Michigan City Fire Department; and Trooper Ken Payonk, Indiana State Police.

The current record is 15 donuts in 10 minutes, held by Scott Kaletha, representing the Michigan City Fire Department in 2017.

With a $10 donation to The Salvation Army, the public can vote for the person they think will eat the most donuts in 10 minutes.  Whoever votes will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate to Patrick’s Grille.


Votes are available for purchase online at https://donate.salvationarmyindiana.org/mcdonuts23 or can be purchased in person at the event.

“This is always an exciting day for The Salvation Army,” said Major Becky Simmons, who oversees The Salvation Army of Michigan City, along with her husband, Major Dale Simmons.

The origins of National Donut Day go back to World War I when The Salvation Army delivered spiritual care and comfort items, including homemade donuts, to American soldiers on the front lines.


Proceeds from this event will support programs and services at The Salvation Army of Michigan City including the food pantry, diaper bank, weekend backpack feeding program, utility assistance, and case management.


More information can be found at www.samichigancity.org.

Pork Industry Loses Supreme Court Battle

(Washington D.C.)- The pork industry is trying to decide their next move after losing a major legal fight last week in the U.S. Supreme Court.


By a 5-4 vote, what’s known as Proposition 12 in California was upheld.


The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation expressed disappointment at the decision to affirm the law they fought hard to overturn.


The law requires pork producers in California to house each hog with 24 square feet of space in conditions allowing a sow to turn around without touching an enclosure.


Hog farmers in other states must comply with the standard if they want to sell their pork in California.  Any sale of pork not meeting the requirement under the law is a criminal offense and civil violation.


The pork industry argued a state with a law that restricts the flow of commerce outside its boundaries and forces producers from other jurisdictions to comply with their rules was unconstitutional.


“At the heart of this argument is whether one state can set the rules for the entire country,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.


Josh Trenary, Executive Director of Indiana Pork, said there will be people hurt by the high court’s decision.


“Misguided regulations generated by one state but applied nationally places a strain both on pork farmers and consumers,” said Josh Trenary, Executive Director of Indiana Pork.


National Pork Producers Council CEO Bryan Humphreys said the ruling comes at a time when hog farmers are facing high input costs during what he described as “some of the most challenging economic times that the pork industry has seen in almost 20-years.”


Humphreys predicted higher prices for consumers, smaller farms going out of business and more producers consolidating.


According to a 2021 Rabobank report, the law would force out of state hog farmers wanting to sell pork in California to reduce the number of pigs they raise unless they increase their current housing space by 20 to 25 percent above industry standards.


The report also predicted the law will create a severe pork deficit and higher consumer prices in California and a pork surplus in the rest of the nation from producers relying more on other markets instead of complying with the new requirements.


Trenary believes the challenge for hog farmers will be daunting but still do able.


“Pork farmers are committed to producing safe, affordable, high quality protein and have always found ways to do so in any regulatory environment.  The level of difficulty in accomplishing that goal certainly went up because of this decision, but pork farmers are great at overcome challenges,” Trenary said.


By a thin margin, the court rejected claims from NPPC and AFBF that Proposition 12 violated the U.S. Constitution’s Dormant Commerce Clause. The clause prevents states from passing laws that burden other states' commerce.


“Companies that choose to sell products in various states must normally comply with the laws of those various states,” the Supreme Court wrote in its ruling.


The court also rejected arguments that the benefits of Proposition 12 to California residents do not outweigh the burden the law places on pork producers to comply.


Animal rights activists, though, applauded the decision.


“We are grateful to our many outstanding allies who helped make Proposition 12 a success. We won’t stop fighting until the pork industry ends its cruel, reckless practice of confining mother pigs in cages so small they can’t even turn around,” said Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the U.S.


During a news conference on Friday, the NPPC said it is evaluating the Supreme Court opinion and considering the next steps to take.

300 Pound Pot Seizure

La Porte County Police have made another major bust of a possible drug mule on the Indiana Toll Road during what’s been an ongoing crackdown.


This time, close to 300 pounds of marijuana were recovered Monday from a vehicle during a traffic stop near Rolling Prairie, police said.


The driver, Luis Dorantes Perez, 38, was arrested for level 5 felony dealing in marijuana.


About 10 a.m., police said an officer monitoring traffic stopped the eastbound vehicle for speeding and erratic driving.


The officer became suspicious when he spotted a blanket covering what appeared to be several bulky items in the back end of the vehicle and detected a strong odor of what he suspected to be marijuana.


Police said more than 50 plastic packages of partially vacuum sealed marijuana weighing five pounds apiece were discovered underneath the blanket.  So were over a dozen one pound packages of marijuana.


A bottle of fabric softener believed to have been used to try and disguise the smell of the marijuana also turned up during the vehicle search, police said.


Perez told the officer the marijuana was “from his work” and he was transporting it from the state of Washington where he resides to New York.


Police said receipts on the suspect’s possession indicate he drove a rent a car through states like Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Illinois before entering Indiana.


Last month, La Porte County Police arrested three individuals from New York and Pennsylvania with more than two pounds of methamphetamine in their vehicle.


Police said they were on the Toll Road driving from Los Angeles to New York City when pulled over for speeding and tailgating.


La Porte County Police Capt. Derek Allen said there are no plans to stop a fruitful several year effort to catch drivers transporting large amounts of drugs.


Allen said the amount of marijuana seized weighed 294 pounds, exceeding any amount of the drug confiscated at one time by his department at least in recent memory.


“This is a large load,” he said.

La Porte Partners with Notre Dame on Housing

(La Porte, IN) - The Health Care Foundation of La Porte Housing Initiative, which began in 2022 with a six-month in-depth housing study of the City of La Porte, continues its work with a partnership with the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture’s Housing and Community Regeneration Initiative for a downtown housing and regeneration charrette.


A charrette is an intensive planning session where architects, citizens, and others collaborate to develop a design or vision for a project.


HFL and the City of La Porte are welcoming a professional team from the University of Notre Dame May 22-25 to conduct a charrette for the downtown area of the City of La Porte, specifically the neighborhoods surrounding Lincolnway.  


To begin the charrette, stakeholders throughout the community, residents, homeowners, landlords, business owners, realtors and more were invited to participate in two Listening Sessions at the HFL Conference & Learning Center.


Hosted by the School of Architecture, these informal gatherings allowed a wide range of voices to be heard regarding the housing needs, concerns, and issues in the downtown area from the people who live and work there.  


Next, the team will study downtown and adjacent neighborhoods with a focus on creating a vibrant public realm as well as addressing critical housing needs.


The goal of the exercise is to formulate a vision and implementation approach to preserve the heart of La Porte's historic center, making it a reliable place to work, live and invest.  


The full Housing Assessment Study, which identified La Porte's housing challenges and opportunities, can be found on HFL’s website.


Public Input Welcome  

During the week of May 22-25, the public will have three opportunities to participate in the process. Each public event will be at St. Peter’s Catholic Church School, 1101 Michigan Avenue, La Porte.  


Public Events  

Monday, May 22, 5:30 – 7 p.m. CDT – Opening Presentation  

Tuesday, May 23, 5:30 – 7 p.m. CDT – Preliminary Proposals  

Thursday, May 25, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. CDT – Final Presentation  


For more information about the charrette, visit hflaporte.org/charrette.    

Fire Heavily Damages Old Farm House

(La Porte County, IN) - A late Monday morning fire heavily damaged a farmhouse built about a century and a half ago outside LaPorte.


Carla Marhanka said she and her husband, Mitch, lived in the two story home built around 1870 for more than 30-years.


Their two daughters were also raised at the residence.


Marhanka said nobody was home when the fire erupted.


“We were all at work,” she said.


Marhanka said she was in her 3rd grade classroom teaching at nearby Kingsbury Elementary School when notified about the blaze.  Flames were showing on both levels of the structure when firefighters were called to the home about 11 a.m. in the area of 400 South and 350 West.


Marhanka said learning about the fire then seeing it after rushing home gave her a sick feeling in her stomach.


“Nauseous,” she said.


Marhanka said she had a lot of old furniture inside the home and some of it belonged to her mother.


Most of all, she was grieving the possible loss of family pictures, including photos of her daughters when they were babies and during their weddings.


“That, to me, is the worst thing.  Everything we’ve taken for the last 39 years is in there,” she said.


The Scipio Township Volunteer Fire Department was assisted by volunteer firefighters from Kingsbury, Noble Township and Westville in putting out the blaze.


Scipio Township Fire Chief Eric Fenstermaker said it’ll be up to the couple’s insurance company to decide whether the home is a total loss.


He didn’t reveal, specifically, what items inside the home were destroyed but said much of the contents will be salvageable.


Fenstermaker said the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is assisting in the investigation to try and determine the cause of the fire.


Foul play is not suspected, he said.


Firefighters from Kingsbury, Noble Township and Westville assisted in putting out the flames. Fenstermaker said there were no injuries.

Dune Walk Bench in Memory of City Manager

(New Buffalo, MI) - He died from COVID-19 before realizing a final dream, but his memory is being kept alive on the new handicapped accessible Dune Walk he helped launch at the public beach in New Buffalo.


A new, totally-handcrafted wooden bench on the Dune Walk was dedicated Saturday in memory of David Richards, 69, who was city manager before succumbing to COVID-19 in December of 2020.


The more user-friendly Dune Walk opened to the public last fall.


“This project was very important to Dave.  He said to me, personally, he started it and he really wanted to see it through its’ completion. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but I know he’s here today in spirit,” said New Buffalo City Clerk Amy Fidler.


A small plaque containing the names of Richards and New Buffalo resident Mary Rose Roberts, who ordered and paid for the bench, is on the front of what’s also viewed as a work of art.


Roberts, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a few years ago, said she wanted a bench for all people with physical challenges using Dune Walk to be able to sit down and enjoy the view of the surrounding landscape and water.


Her idea stems from being unable to keep up with family members while hiking Warren Dunes State Park because of how her progressive condition weakens her legs.  Roberts said the bench provides a place for people with physical limitations to still get out with loved ones and enjoy the beautiful surroundings while waiting for them to return from their hiking.


“I’m just really looking forward to people enjoying this bench for a lifetime,” she said.


Roberts said dedicating the bench in memory of Richards was an idea from City Hall after she reached out looking for someone to dedicate it to.


She felt honored to do it after learning more about him personally.


“They mentioned how much the city staff loved Dave Richards. How he dedicated his life to community.  It’s just such an important thing for me that we all focus more on our communities and doing the best we can,” she said.


She commissioned Eric Trowbridge, the owner of a wood working company in Elkhart, Ind., for the job and donated the $5,000 in supplies.


The maker of customer cabinetry and other things like furniture didn’t charge for much of the 150 hours invested in designing and assembling the bench made from bending white oak and mahogany slats.  The bench rests on a metal base colored in a variety of blues, greens and browns from applying chemicals to the surface to create an aging effect.


“It kind of correspondents with the lake and the sea grass and the sand,” Trowbridge said.


Trowbridge said the slats and stain used on the wood were selected to reflect the rolling textures of the sand and different color the sand takes on at the shoreline from contact with the water coming in from the lake.


Mayor John Humphrey said the Dune Walk is much improved over the old one, which was narrower, steeper and contained more stairs.


The old Dune Walk was also closed to the public because of disrepair brought on by age before it was torn down and replaced at the same location at a cost of nearly $900,000.


Humphrey said the project was funded primarily with federal and state dollars along with a monetary contribution from the Pokagon Fund.

Fund Raising Brisk for Family in Tragedy

(Chesterton, IN) - A Go Fund Me page has exceeded its goal in connection with a 14-year-old Sylis Wilfinger, of Chesterton boy killed by a train last Tuesday.


A $14,000 goal to help the family cover funeral expenses has been steadily outpaced, as this morning the Go Fund Me page stood at more than $28,000 in pledges and donations.


Wilfinger veered around a crossing arm on a bicycle.


He was waiting for a train to pass when struck by another train coming from the opposite direction.  Authorities noted that it appears the boy did not know a second oncoming train was coming.

Arnold Honored for Effort

(Indianapolis, IN) - A La Porte school board member has been recognized at the state level, as Jim Arnold has received the Distinguished Governance Award from the Indiana School Boards Association.


The award is for school board members who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to learning and excellence in public service during trainings, seminars and conferences sponsored by the ISBA.


Close to 200 school board members statewide were named recipients of the award.


“This impressive achievement attests to the dedication school board members have for the children and school communities they represent,” said ISBA Executive Director Terry Spradlin


Currently, Arnold is president of the school board, having prior experience as a state senator and a La Porte County Sheriff.


ISBA provides a full range of professional development and training opportunities to help board members govern effectively. At dozens of events throughout the year, ISBA informs and educates board members about best practices, legislative issues, policy development, school law, and more.

New Prairie Puts Ring on Successful Football Season

(New Carlisle, IN) - The New Prairie football team’s title of State Finalist now has a stylish ring to it.


For the second time in school history, the team made it to the State Championship in November, falling short in the Class 4A title game against East Central. To commemorate the team’s run to the state finals, New Prairie has ponied up for fancy championship rings.


The gold rings boast a blue NP surrounded by faux diamonds and sapphires. One side of the band marks the team’s 13-2 record, while the other side has each player’s last name and playing number.


The ring tradition in high school sports is well established, but Head Coach Casey McKim says they wanted to make this set of hardware a little special. “A lot of the schools around the state are changing what they’re doing with the rings compared to the past,” he said. “And we just thought it was such an outstanding year, we wanted to do the most we could in terms of high-level type of look for our young men, because they deserved it after the effort and time they put in this past year.”


In the past, sports championship rings resembled traditional class rings. “But we decided we wanted to make a unique kind of ring,” McKim said, “and there’s a lot more options and companies out there today than there was in the past, and that was really the impetus behind it.” The cost difference between the standard ring and these jewel-encrusted ones was not that different, McKim said.  A robust fundraising effort by the school and football boosters made it possible.


This is the third state runner-up ring for McKim. He earned one as a player, then later as an assistant coach at Valparaiso.


Everyone involved in the football program got a ring, including trainers and even some school maintenance workers who contributed behind the scenes on Friday nights. And the cheerleaders weren’t left out. They got rings that hang from a necklace.

Five Arrested in Marshall County Drug Bust

(Marshall County, IN) - Five Starke County residents have been arrested on drug charges in Marshall County.


Over an eight-day period, authorities from both counties worked together to round up the suspects. 25-year-old Brenden Stout, 35-year-old Jennifer Pegan, and 34-year-old Tyler Campbell, all of Grovertown were arrested, along with 36-year-old Juanita Conley and 36-year-old Sarah Stout, both of Hamlet.


Charges all involved dealing controlled substances, including methamphetamine.


Arrests in the alleged drug dealing and theft ring culminated a months-long investigation.

Road Work Near Walkerton

(Walkerton, IN) - Two sections of highway near Walkerton will be under construction starting Monday.


A section of State Road 23 will be reduced to one lane of travel in each direction south of town down to U.S. 30. Resurfacing work along that stretch should wrap up by late September.


Starting in June, a portion of that same route will be closed for two weeks for a pipe replacement at Rice Ditch. At that time, drivers will be detoured along U.S. 35 between highways 6 and 30.


Also starting Monday, there will be lane closures on State Road 104 northwest of Walkerton. Flaggers will direct traffic between C.R. S 675 E and County Line Rd. for approximately three weeks. High friction surface treatment will be applied to curves in that area.

Buggy Disaster Claims Lives of Woman and Horse

(Nappanee, IN) - A terrible tragedy in Nappanee Friday morning involved a horse and buggy.


Around 9:30 in the morning, first responders were called to the scene of a collision between a Ford F350 utility truck and a horse-drawn buggy.


According to reports, a dump truck was passing the buggy on a county road. The utility truck following behind did not slow down in time and plowed into the buggy.


The driver of the buggy, 58-year-old Fannie Mae Bontrager of Nappanee, was pronounced dead at the scene. The horse pulling the buggy also died.


A 43-year-old Columbia City man was driving the truck. The crash remains under investigation.

Back to Prison for Drug Dealer

(La Porte, IN) - A man with a history of drug dealing in La Porte County is going back to prison for selling heroin. Jayson Hicks received a 10-year prison sentence today in La Porte Circuit Court.


Hicks, 39, was caught selling close to 16 grams of heroin for more than $800 in January of 2021 outside of the Speedway at U.S. 20 and U.S. 35, according to court documents. The transaction occurred after Hicks met the buyer in the parking lot.


In 2016, Hicks was given a four-year prison sentence for selling $200 in cocaine in the men's restroom at the Wal-Mart in La Porte and selling $100 in heroin in the parking lot of the nearby McDonalds.


He also served a previous eight-year sentence handed down in 2013 for dealing drugs.

Prison for Rape of Handicapped Woman

(La Porte, IN) - A 12-year prison sentence was handed today to a man for raping a handicapped woman outside LaPorte. Joshua Adams, 26, will also serve four years on probation after his release.


According to court documents, last year Adams and his ex-girlfriend drove from her home in LaPorte to his residence on 150 East near Rolling Prairie to spend the weekend together. After having sex, the investigation showed he became angry at her for chatting with other people on social media. The woman told police he then demanded to have sex with her again but she refused.


The woman, paralyzed from the chest down, asked Adams several times to take her back home. He then punched her multiple times in the face, held her down by the hair, and dragged her across the floor before raping her.


She had bruises and other injuries from her face down to her lower extremities when returned home to her father three days later, police said. The woman had been paralyzed many years ago due to a gunshot wound.

Beatles Legend to Perform at New Buffalo

(New Buffalo Township, MI) - Beatles legend Ringo Starr will play at Four Winds Casino outside New Buffalo this fall.


The performance by the drummer now solo artist is part of an upcoming tour with his All Starr band, with stops including the Chicago Theatre on October 5th and Four Winds Casino at 11111 Wilson Road in New Buffalo Township on October 6th.


“Well, I love to play. I love an audience,” Ringo told Pollstar, which just did a cover story on his Spring tour.


“This is a known fact. I love the audience, they love me. We have fun on tour. That's what it's all about. I don't do this to be miserable. I have a lot of joy. I get a lot of joy and I just love doing it,” he said.


Other stops on the tour include Indianapolis, Milwaukee and Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Starr previously toured last Spring and Fall.


He released the new album EP3 last fall and the music video "Everyone and Everything," as well as creating 500 life-sized "Peace and Love" sculptures of his iconic hand symbols, which were sold by Julien's Auctions to benefit the Lotus Foundation.


The musical legend was the lead vocalist for the classic Beatles hits such as "Yellow Submarine" and "With a Little Help from My Friends.

Planet Fitness Opens in La Porte

(La Porte, IN) - Another business has moved into Maple Lane Mall, as Planet Fitness illustrated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony this week.


Bert Cook, Executive Director of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership, said Planet Fitness helps occupy more space at the once mostly empty mall.


He said redeveloping the mall having been a focus.


“I think Planet Fitness is the next piece in that puzzle.  They’ve done an amazing job on their space. It’s enormous and they got room for everybody there,” he said.


Cook also said he’s also heard from people who are happy to have a Planet Fitness to go locally, instead of having to venture elsewhere to take advantage of what they offer.


The mall was nearly totally empty until Rural King opened there just over two years ago. Cook says about 40 percent of the mall remains vacant.  Most of the available space is where Al’s Supermarket used to be.

Calmer Seas the Goal for New Legal Ship Captain

(La Porte County, IN) - The new attorney for La Porte County government is coming in with an eye on toning down the ongoing political turmoil. Scott Pejic said he was approached about filling the seat and chose to be considered for the job.


The veteran criminal defense attorney, with offices in Michigan City, said he was not jockeying to fill the seat and doesn’t have a burning desire to stay in it long term. Rather, Pejic said he simply felt a need to help get things back on the right track.


“This community has been nothing but good to me. Nothing but good to me.   I’ve been very blessed.  I have a good practice, loyal clients and if this is the way I can give back, I want to do it,” he said.


Pejic is now the third county attorney since the county commissioners replaced Shaw Friedman with Andrew B. Jones at the first of the year. The seat has been at the center of a political firestorm since January of 2021 when the power structure in county government changed but Friedman was not let go as county attorney as his detractors expected.


Ever since, the fallout has included political leaders filing lawsuits against each other, allegations of corruption, approaching law enforcement to see if any criminal violations occurred, and generally eruptions of emotion ranging from verbal attacks and insults.


Pejic said he’s coming in with no political connections to any of the commissioners.


“I just want to get a fresh start, be helpful, be a good servant for the county and go on in life,” he said.


Pejic has been licensed to practice law in Indiana since 1999.


He said criminal defense represents about 40 percent of his workload, with 30-percent of his professional time spent in civil law cases involving personal injury.

Scholarship Deadline Nears in Michigan City

(Michigan City, IN) - The deadline to submit an application for a “Promise Scholarship” in Michigan City is approaching.


The city is now providing up to $5,000 a year scholarships for eligible graduates of Michigan City and Marquette high schools going on to college or trade school.


Students may apply only during their senior year of high school and must live within the city limits.


All applications and required forms must be submitted to City Hall no later than June 2nd at 4:30 p.m., according to the Mayor’s Office.


For more information, contact Janet Beutner, who’s the Promise Scholarship Director, at (219) 873-1400 ext. 2002 or jbeutner@emichigancity.comThe program is funded annually by a share of the city’s riverboat proceeds.

Police Win Battle with Angry Woman

(La Porte, IN) - A La Porte woman put up a major fight but came out the losing party in a confrontation with police. Officers were called twice on Monday evening to the 500 block of Pulaski Street on separate reports of a disturbance and a burglary in progress.


Police say an arrest was being made when 60-year-old Ann Konieczny walked over from next door and began yelling at the officers.  Despite several warnings, she refused to quiet down and was told she was under arrest. She was then escorted to the ground and handcuffed, though not before a struggle where she nearly burned one of the officers with a cigarette.


Officers had to drag Konieczny after making her body go limp, then wrapping one of her legs around a pole after kicking one of the officers. Eventually, authorities succeeded in getting her into the police vehicle.


Konieczny has been charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Battery against a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Disorderly Conduct.


Robert Allerton, 57, has been arrested for Resisting Arrest and Public Intoxication.

Slicers Down Pirates 10-0 in Five Innings

The Slicer baseball team traveled to Merrillville Wednesday night and for the second day in a row defeated the Pirates in five innings by the ten run mercy rule. La Porte scored in every inning while Cody Ryden and Brock Schultz combined to shut the Pirates out allowing five total hits in the 10-0 win.


La Porte posted single runs in both the first and second innings. Ben Dubbs was hit by a pitch to lead the game off. He moved to second on a Carter Moses single and moved to third on a Kade Flores fielder’s choice. He scored on a line drive sacrifice fly by Drew Catron. Keli Hay led off the second inning with a double that landed on the right field line. He scored on Jax Land’s base hit to make it 2-0 LP after two innings.


The Slicers scored four runs in the third. The first five Slicer batters reached base in the inning. Moses singled followed by a Flores double to put runners on second and third.  Catron singled to knock them both in. Tommy Samuelson reached on an infield error followed by a two run double by Hay. It was 6-0 LP after three. 


It was 8-0 after the Slicer fourth. Dubbs reached on a throwing error and scored on Moses’ double. Brock Schultz, courtesy running for Moses, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Catron’s second sacrifice fly of the game. 


LP picked up two more runs in the fifth. Jax Land hit a one out double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Drew Flores was hit by a pitch putting runners at first and third. Land scored on a Kai Jones ground out and Flores made it 10-0 scoring on a Dubbs double.


Ryden was solid throwing four innings of four hit shutout ball. He struck out eight, walked one and hit one batter.  Schultz gave up a hit and a walk, striking out one in the fifth.


Moses was three for four with an RBI and two runs scored by his courtesy runner Schultz. Catron was one for one, scored a run and had four RBI. Hay was two for three with two RBI and a run scored. Land was two for two with a run, an RBI and a stolen base. Hay was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game.


RJ Anglin, who tweaked his surgically repaired knee Tuesday night was not in the lineup for precautionary reasons. Tuesday’s winning pitcher Grant Olson, who also left Tuesday’s game with knee soreness, was not scheduled to play Wednesday but felt much better.


La Porte’s record improves to 16-7 and 9-3 in the DAC. The Slicers travel to Lowell for a double header scheduled to start at 10:00 AM Saturday.  The Slicers travel to Valpo Tuesday and host the Vikings Wednesday in a battle for second in the DAC. Both teams are 9-3 in conference play. Lake Central clinched the DAC title with a 9-2 win over Portage Wednesday, they are 12-0 in DAC play.

Nailed Again for OWI

(La Porte County, IN) - It’s not been a good year for a man now arrested twice in La Porte County for allegedly driving while impaired. Willie Clark, 51, was clocked at 78 miles per hour on U.S. 20 near Michigan City on Monday.


When the officer got behind him, Clark merged onto Interstate 94 and traveled for about one mile at 40 miles per hour before pulling over. Right away, Clark was suspected of being impaired, judging from his appearance and sluggish behavior. The officer then spotted an open a bottle of vodka and a separate-yet-open alcoholic beverage container inside his car.  The Chicago man was arrested after he allegedly refused a breathalyzer test.


Clark has a prior OWI charge here from January that still has to be decided by the court.

No Thinking Cap Theft

(Michigan City, IN) - The hat he allegedly stole was not exactly a thinking cap,  given the fact he’s still behind bars. 29-year-old Samuel Cornel of Michigan City was booked into the La Porte County Jail about two weeks ago, accused of going inside a Michigan City gas station in the 1200 block of Franklin Street, grabbing a hat, and running out without paying for it.


The yellow flatbill cap was priced at $8.99.


According to police, an image of Cornell taking the hat resulted in a warrant being issued for his arrest. 


Cornel could face an up to 30-month sentence on a Level 6 Felony charge of Theft.   He is still being held on $755 bond.

Road Closed Due to Crash

(La Porte County, IN) - A road in La Porte County was closed this afternoon due to crash bringing down power lines.


La Porte County Police said the accident involved a commercial motor vehicle at 400 North and 675 West in Coolspring Township.


The road closure may last for several hours.


We’ll have further details once they’re made available.

Sheep Wanted for "Solar Grazing"

(Rensselaer, IN) - Solar farms becoming pastures for sheep to graze is beginning to lift off in Indiana as the first Indiana Solar Grazing Seminar to try and further the launch is scheduled June 6th at the Jasper County Fairgrounds.


The Indiana Sheep Association and the Northern Indiana Public Service Company are hosting the free event. Current sheep producers along with people just starting out or interested in having their own herds are welcome to attend at no cost.


“Solar grazing is adding an exciting new dimension to Indiana’s sheep industry and may provide the potential for new and young producers to break into the sheep production business,” said ISA President Jane Smith.


NIPSCO plans to have three new solar projects operating before the end of the year to produce electricity to power more than 270,000 homes.


The seminar will include shuttling people to the site a short distance away to help them in the processing of deciding their level of interest.  ISA spokesman Emma Hopkins-O’Brien said farmers will be paid by NIPSCO for allowing their sheep to graze on their property.


She said sheep are used already in states like California to eat the grass and other plants growing around and beneath solar panels.


Hopkins-O’Brien said paying sheep farmers is much less expensive than hiring people to perform the difficult task of keeping the grass cut and looking nice on land containing a large number of solar panels.


“It’s hard to get equipment under the solar panels to mow,” she said.


Hopkins-O’Brien said sheep are ideal animals to use for maintaining such properties because they’re not as strong or weigh as much as cows, who could damage or knock over solar panels while grazing.


Goats, who are used to clear mountainsides of heavy plant growth, tend to eat wiring and jump on the solar panels.  Without proper lawn care, the growth would cover the solar panels and hinder their ability to collect energy from the sun.


“In Indiana with all of the solar farms coming out, there’s been a lot of interest.  People have heard about other states doing it and they’re wondering if there’s some way the sheep raisers here can reap the benefits,” Hopkins-O’Brien said.


She said solar grazing also presents an opportunity for people to break into the sheep industry or expand their small herds because no land or additional property has to be purchased.


Hopkins-O’Brien said people considering the idea should find out if they can keep their sheep at solar farms during the winter and, if so, make sure they have the ability to access the property to provide their animals with supplies like hay.


“We’re bringing in some speakers who know a lot more about it, hopefully, to help people kind of see just how to do it.  How to get it right,” she said.


According to ISA, registration for the seminar begins at 8:30 a.m. (EST) in the Community Building at the fairgrounds at 2671 W. Clark St. in Rensselaer followed by a tour of NIPSCO’s solar farm development.


The afternoon session will feature presentations from industry professionals and other experts along with farmers experienced in solar grazing like Brett and Heather Kessler of La Porte County.


“These people just started because of the fact solar grazing is so new,” she said.


According to USDA, Indiana ranks 24th in the nation with about 60,000 head of sheep in 2022.


In comparison, Texas ranked 1st with about 700,000 head of sheep while California was second with 550,000 sheep, according to USDA.


A boxed lunch will be provided at the seminar lasting until about 4 p.m.


People interested in attending should RSVP on the ISA website at www.indianasheep.com or contact ISA’s executive secretary at executive@indianasheep.com.

Slicers Handle Merrilville 11-1 in Five Innings

The good news is La Porte downed Merrillville 11-1 in a five inning mercy rule win Tuesday night at Schreiber Field. The bad news is RJ Anglin and Grant Olson both left the game with knee pain. Anglin, who has had two major knee injuries in his high school career, motioned to the dugout after the game’s first pitch. After talking with the trainer and coach Scott Upp, he left the game. Olson, was one out away from a five inning one hit shutout victory when he grabbed for his right knee after throwing a fastball. Olson left after striking out ten, walking five, hitting one batter and allowing one hit. He was charged with a run when a bloop single off reliever Kade Flores drove in the Pirates only run. Both players were moving around with no noticeable issues post game.


After a scoreless first, LP exploded for five runs in the second inning. Drew Catron led off with a solid single to left. With one out the Slicers executed a perfect hit and run. With Catron running, Kai Jones singled through the right side putting runners on first and third. Ben Dubbs dropped a double into left to drive in Catron. Jones and Dubbs scored on Carter Moses’ double to left. Tommy Samuelson drove in Moses and Kade Flores, who had walked, with a base hit.


Jones and Dubbs got base hits to start the four run Slicer third inning. Moses drove in Jones with his second double of the game and Dubbs scored on a Brock Schultz sacrifice fly. Tommy Samuelson knocked in Moses with a long triple and scored on a throwing error. It was 9-0 LP after three innings. 


LP scored their tenth run in the bottom of the fourth. Pinch hitter Thomas Hill was hit by a pitch and moved to second on a base hit by Jax Land. Hill scored on an error by Pirate second baseman Kaleb Henry. 


The Slicers couldn’t close the game out in the top of the fifth. Olson walk two and struck out two to start the inning. Kade Flores came in to throw after Olson tweaked his knee and allowed a soft blooper to left scoring Darien Wiggins. Brock Schultz made a nice throw from left throwing Brady Barnett out at third on the play to end the inning.


The Slicers ended the game in the bottom of the fifth after two were out. Catron single to center and Drew Flores got an infield hit. Jones ended the game with a single to left, his third of the game, to drive in Catron for the game ender.


Jones was named the Salisbury and Spence Player of the Game going three for four, scoring twice and driving in the final run. Dubbs, Moses, Samuelson, and Catron each had two hits. Samuelson and Moses had three RBI. 


La Porte improves to 15-7 on the season and 8-3 in the DAC. The Slicers travel to Merrillville Wednesday for a rematch.

New La Porte County Government Attorney

(La Porte County, IN) - A new attorney for La Porte County government was appointed Wednesday by the politically-embattled commissioners.          


Scott Pejic, a veteran criminal defense attorney based in Michigan City, was hired in a 2-to 0 decision.


Commissioner Joe Haney abstained, saying he didn't know Pejic was a candidate.


Therefore, he never had a chance to interview him.


Commissioners Connie Gramarossa and Rich Mrozinski voted for Pejic a week after they terminated Andrew B. Jones as county attorney and removed Joe Haney as commission president. Gramarossa, who’s now president of the commission, along with Haney verbally tangled with each other before the split decision for Pejic.


Haney kept commenting and asking questions while Gramarossa tried calling for the vote.


She then paused and accused Haney of political grandstanding.


“We’ll give you the floor. You can try and make a fool out of me.  Go ahead.  How long would you like to badger us,” she said. To which he responded, “That’s not my intention at all.  My intention is to simply understand what’s transpired here."


Haney said he was given the impression by his colleagues last week the position would be advertised and candidates interviewed prior to being filled.


And that’s why he didn’t recruit anyone for the job unlike the other two commissioners, he said.


Mrozinski said he approached three lawyers who all turned him down because of how the position has become so politically charged the past few years.


“They don’t want to be part of that,” he said.


Gramarossa said she was contacted by Pejic after he heard about the opening and talked to another lawyer from South Bend.


She also said it was Haney’s fault that he misunderstood the process followed for filling the seat.


“I think this was an open process and everyone had the ability to bring somebody to the table,” she said.


In early January, Gramarossa sided with Haney in deciding to replace Shaw Friedman with Jones as county attorney. She said Jones’ handling of a dispute involving a request by La Porte County Prosecutor Sean Fagan was a major factor in her decision to terminate him.


Fagan is seeking all of the emails from the former prosecutor and several of his staff members last year. He said he wants them to fill gaps in criminal cases where evidence was lost during his transition into office.


Gramarossa and Mrozinski went against the advice of Jones, who urged them to turn over the e-mails because they belong to whoever is prosecutor, warning them to expect a lawsuit from the Indiana Attorney General’s Office for not granting Fagan’s request.


Gramarossa said she was more than happy to give Fagan access the emails he needs but not all of them over concerns about the privacy of others.


“We will not give him thousands of unrelated emails from the county server for a political witch hunt and that’s the bottom line,” she said.


Alleged Shoplifter with History of Theft Charged Again

(Michigan City, IN) - Maybe more time in jail will cure a La Porte County woman’s allegedly sticky fingers. 59-year-old Tina Ricketts is charged with Level 6 Felony Theft.


About two weeks ago, she was at the Michigan City Walmart using a self-checkout machine.  Police said she scanned the less expensive items but did not scan the more costly merchandise.


Ricketts allegedly placed the items she didn’t scan into shopping bags with scanned items. She was walking out with about $200 in mostly stolen groceries when stopped by a store loss prevention officer.


According to court documents, the woman has several prior theft-related convictions. 


For this incient, Ricketts could face an up to 30-month sentence.  

One Dead, One Wounded in Gunfire Exchange

(Michigan City, IN) - A man died from his wounds while another man was seriously hurt following a gunfire exchange in Michigan City.


A 17-year-old boy also accused of participating in the incident is being detained while prosecutors decide how to proceed with the case.


Those are the details just released by authorities in connection with the shootings that occurred at about 7 p.m. on Monday.


According to police, the investigation shows both shooting victims were 22 and involved in an altercation at 8th and Spring Street when gunfire erupted.


A video of what appeared to be a gun battle depicted 20 or more shots being fired, in addition to one of the men falling to the pavement after returing fire. 


One of the injured men was found unconscious after leaving in his vehicle and crashing about three blocks away, later dying at the hospital. La Porte County Coroner Lynn Swanson has identified the victim as being Charles Garrett Cox of Michigan City.


She said an autopsy of the body is scheduled this morning.


The other man found at the scene of the shootings, whose name has not been released to the public, was later transferred to another hospital for advanced care.


According to police, the juvenile was present during the exchange and also fired shots. He is curently being held at the La Porte County Juvenile Services Center while the La Porte County Prosecutor’s Office reviews the evidence and decides upon formal charges.

Road Maintenance Planned on Local Highway

(La Porte County, IN) - A state highway in La Porte County will start having lane closures soon. Indiana Department of Transportation has hired a contractor to apply high friction surface treatment to curves on a stretch of State Road 104.


According to INDOT, there will be lane closures between 675 East and County Line Road for about three weeks beginning on May 15th. 


Flaggers will direct traffic in the area where the work is occurring.


INDOT encourages drivers to allow extra time when driving through this area and to follow traffic directions carefully, in addition to slowing down, exercising caution and driving distraction-free through all work zones.

Police Find Hit and Run Driver

(La Porte, IN) - Charges have been filed in connection with injuries suffered in a recent motor vehicle crash in La Porte.  33-year-old Mitchell Taviner Papp is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with Level 6 Felony, Leaving the Scene of an Accident.


On the night of April 26th, police documents indicate Papp ran a red light at East Lincolnway and Boyd Boulevard and broadsided a vehicle driven by Susana De La Torre.  Papp, of La Porte, then allegedly fled on foot.


According to police, De La Torre was taken to the hospital with broken ribs and other possible injuries.  Papp appeared to suffer an injury to his face.  Authorities state his passenger, 24-year-old Lilly Schmidt, suffered a possible concussion and apparently a broken arm and ribs.


Papp, who was arrested about a week later, could face an up to 30-month sentence.

Slicers Overcome Slow Start, Down Boone Grove 8-3

The preseason pitching plan for Tommy Samuelson was to use the senior as a top of the rotation pitcher; possibly a Wednesday conference game starter or a weekend contributor. A sore shoulder has limited the right hander to just five innings in 2023. Monday night, with a healed shoulder and a five game week looming, the 6’5 Samuelson stepped up with a solid start leading LP to an 8-3 win over a young, talented, 15-4 Boone Grove team.


To say things didn’t start well for the Slicers would be an understatement. In the top of the first Boone Grove’s Seth Pitcock hit a pop up to short right center field that fell for a single. Slicer center fielder Kai Jones attempted a sliding catch but couldn’t hang on to the wind aided blooper. Pitcock went to second when Samuelson’s pickoff throw to first was off the mark. Trey Pitcock drew a walk putting runners on first and second with no outs. Davian Carrerra hit a hard grounder up the middle. Slicer second baseman Kade Flores moving to hit right couldn’t pick the ball up cleanly and the bases were loaded with no one out. Samuelson got cleanup man Ben Truby to hit a chopper to shortstop RJ Anglin that LP turned into a 6-4-3 double play but did score Seth Pitcock to make it 1-0 with a runner on third. Andrew Batesole hit another ground ball up the middle that was picked up by Anglin near second base. His throw to first sailed past first baseman AJ Mrozinske allowing Trey Pitcock to score making it 2-0 Boone Grove.


Samuelson settled in, allowing only a single run in the third inning. Carrerra drew a one out walk. He moved to second when Anglin robbed Truby of base hit with a diving stop on a ball in the hole between short and third. The senior then made an incredible throw to get Truby at first. Carrerra moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on Batesole’s infield single giving the Wolves their third and final run. 


Samuelson, who was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game, went six innings allowing three runs, only one earned on four hits. He also fanned eleven and walked three to earn the win. Anglin pitched the seventh, striking out three.


La Porte picked up an odd run in the bottom of the second without a hit. Keli Hay drew a walk then moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on an errant pickoff throw and scored on a balk by BG starting pitcher Carrerra.


The Slicers took a 4-3 lead, scoring three runs in the third inning. Ben Dubbs drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Carter Moses’ ground out. Kade Flores also walked and was able to run all the way to second as ball four got away from the catcher. This put runners on second and third. Anglin ripped a single to left to driving in Dubbs and Flores. The left fielder’s throw to the plate got by the catcher and the pitcher backing him up allowing Anglin to reach third. Anglin scored on a wild pitch.


La Porte picked up single runs in the fourth and fifth off relief pitcher Seth Pitcock. Dubbs and Moses had solid one out singles. They moved to second and third on a balk. Kade Flores walked to load the bases. Dubbs scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.  In the sixth Hay drew a leadoff walk, he stole second and moved to third when Truby’s throw went into center field. He scored on a sacrifice fly by Jax Land to make it 6-3 Slicers after five innings.


LP picked up two insurance runs in the sixth. Singles by Kade Flores, Catron and Hay loaded the bases. DH Drew Flores lined a two out 3-2 pitch into left field for a two run single making it 8-3.


Scott Upp brought sophomore Gage Raymond and freshman CT Rusbolt up from the JV team. Both saw action and each drew a walk. The Slicers had seven hits but took advantage of eight Boone Grove walks and two hit batsmen.


The Slicers, now 14-7 on the season, will host conference foe Merrillville Tuesday at Schreiber Field. On Wednesday they will visit the Pirates in Merrillville. Both games are scheduled to start at 4:30.  Saturday LP travels to Lowell for a double header starting at 10:00 am. All of these games can be heard on WCOE 96.7 the Eagle and the 96.7 the Eagle App.


Photos Courtesy of Susan Anglin.

Postal Service Food Drive Nears

(Michigan City, IN) - Letter carriers across the country will be picking up more than mail on Saturday as this weekend marks the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, an event organized annually by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Residents are encouraged to leave donations of non-perishable food items by their mailboxes on Saturday to be collected alongside their mailables.


The Salvation Army of Michigan City is pleased to be the local recipient of these donations to fill the shelves of its food pantry, currently in most need of protein sources like canned meats and peanut butter and also accepting donations of paper products and personal hygiene items.

Major Becky Simmons, who oversees the local Salvation Army alongside her husband, Major Dale Simmons, said even if it's one can of vegetables or a single jar of peanut butter, every little bit helps.

Hundreds of families with varying degrees of need visit the food pantry every month to receive food.


“About half of our clients are on fixed incomes and depend on our assistance every month,” said Mrs. Simmons.


Simmons said the remaining clients are families with income who may just need occasional assistance to make ends meet.

The food drive is organized locally by the National Association of Letter Carriers.


Nathaniel Phillips, a Michigan City letter carrier with the U.S. Postal Service, said, “as letter carriers, we are out in the community every day. We know our community and we see people who are in need. This is a way that we can give back and help our neighbors.”

More information about the Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive can be found by visiting www.nalc.org/community-service/food-drive or by contacting The Salvation Army of Michigan City at (219) 874-6885.

Video Captures Latest MC Shooting

(Michigan City, IN) - Two people were reportedly shot in Michigan City last evening.


So far, police have not confirmed or released any information about a shooting.


However, a video reveals what appears to be an argument flaring up before the sound of gunfire and several people running.


There’s a slight pause in the gunfire before a man beside a parked car begins firing before dropping to the pavement from an apparent gunshot wound.


The video captures the shooting in front of the old Central Elementary School building on 8th Street a few blocks east of Franklin Street. The structure is now home to the NECA-IBEW Technical Institute.


We’ll provide more details once they’re made available from Michigan City Police.

Bison in Baseball Groove

(New Buffalo, MI) - The New Buffalo High School baseball team moved to 7-4 on the season by sweeping a doubleheader at home against Eau Claire on Friday.


The Bison defeated the Beavers 15-5 and 7-6.


In the first game, the Beavers scored three first inning runs off Bison starting pitcher Vaugh Nickkel but New Buffalo came back with six runs in the bottom of the inning.


Braden Huffer with the bases loaded knocked in the first three runs with a double. 


Huffer then scored on a fielder’s choice.  Nicholas Wolfe and Jaydon Berger later scored on an overthrow to first base by the shortshop and a wild pitch.


Nikkel, who pitched his first game of the season, was taken out in the second inning after giving up a run scoring double and hitting three batters.


Berger took the mound with two outs and the bases loaded but got out of the jam on a ground ball out to the third baseman.


The Bison took a 12-5 lead by scoring five runs after Ethan Lijewski led off the fourth inning with a triple to deep right center field and crossed the plate on a single by Huffer.


New Buffalo scored four more times before the inning was over with help from a walk, hit batsman and overthrow to first base by the shortshop.


The Bison scored their final three runs with two outs in the 5th inning after Wolfe hit a sharp line drive single to left field.    He and Hagen Davis scored on a sharply hit double to left field by Sam Wendell-Suppa, who later crossed the plate.


Berger, who uses a submarine delivery with some of his pitches to keep the batters off stride, gave up just one run in 3 1/3 innings.


In the second game, both teams scored all of their runs in the first three innings.


New Buffalo Head Coach Adam Lijewski said it took Berger about two-years to master his submarine delivery.


“He just got locked in this year,” he said.


Lijewski said the team with a lot of players from the winless season two-years ago continues to improve in all aspects of the game. At the plate, for example, batters are hitting the ball much more consistently and with more authority.


“These guys are grinding. This is a really good team,” he said.


Possible Drowning Victim Missing

(Berrien County, MI) - A woman is missing after going into a body of water in southwest Michigan for the sake of her son.


The 42-year old woman at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday entered the St. Joseph River believing her eight year old son was having difficulties, according to Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Police.


She went missing while her son was later found on an island in the river by Berrien Springs Oronoko Township firefighters on a rescue boat. The boy was treated at a hospital in Niles before later being released.


The woman had been in the area with her children before entering the water.


Police said further information will be made available at a later time.

Wrong Way Driver Suspected to be Impaired

(La Porte County, IN) - A female driver traveling the wrong way on a four-lane highway outside La Porte was suspected to be under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, per the La Porte County Police.


An officer Saturday night spotted a vehicle turn from Boyd Boulevard southbound into the northbound lanes of U.S. 35. The officer, with his flashing lights and siren activated, was catching up to the vehicle when he measured her speed at more than 90 miles per hour.


The driver stopped before continuing southbound and westbound on 250 South and stopping for a final time. 


According to police, there was an odor of alcohol and burnt marijuana coming from the driver’s breath and the inside of her vehicle. Right away, the burnt end of several marijuana cigarettes were found underneath the gas pedal and in other places in the vehicle. A black vape with a THC vape cartridge inserted into the device was located in her right front pocket.


Several more vape cartridges were also allegedly found in the 2011 BMW.


Natalia Chrzaszcz, 22, of La Porte was arrested for operating while intoxicated and reckless driving.  Police said she registered a .062 percent blood alcohol level on a portable breathalyzer. However, investigators are still waiting for the results of a blood test from the Indiana State Department of Toxicology before moving forward with the case. 

Empty Handed in Dirt Bike Chase

(La Porte, IN) - The driver of a dirt bike style motorcycle outran the police during a weekend chase in La Porte.


According to La Porte County Police, a patrol officer spotted the driver performing a wheelie on Lincolnway near Archie’s restaurant about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday.


The officer tried making a traffic stop after noticing the vehicle on two wheels had no license plate.


Police said the driver fled westbound on Lincolnway at more than 70 miles per hour then veered onto 1st St. and southbound on Weller Ave.


The driver turned eastbound just north of the tracks and accelerated while traveling through some rocks where the officer discontinued the chase.


A short time later, police said the officer noticed the dirt bike style motorcycle coming back westbound on the tracks then southbound behind Northwest Health.  The driver then went eastbound in the westbound lanes of Lincolnway.


La Porte Police were then notified but the motorcycle was not located. 


Police are hoping footage from the officer’s body camera will provide clues leading to the identity of the driver.

Slicers Suffer Frustrating Loss to South Bend Adams

(South Bend, IN)  The Slicer baseball team faced off with future first round sectional opponent South Bend Adams Friday night in South Bend and came home with a disappointing 2-0 loss.


La Porte had runners on base in six of the seven innings but the lack of timely hitting and some stellar defense by the Eagles kept them off scoreboard.


Slicer offensive frustrations against Adams side arming righty Ethan Trimberger began in the top of the first inning.  Carter Moses and Kade Flores had solid one out singles and both advanced on a wild pitch, putting runners at second and third. Cleanup hitter RJ Anglin hit a high popup to short right field. Adams second baseman Peyton Hoover and right fielder Adam Micinski converged on the ball and appeared to have communication problems.  Micinski was able to make the catch and made a perfect throw to home getting courtesy runner Brock Schultz at the plate for the inning ending double play.


After going one two three in the second inning, La Porte threatened again in the third.  Drew Flores drew a leadoff walk. Kai Jones laid a perfect down the first base line for a single, putting runners on first and second with no one out.  Ben Dubbs, attempting to bunt the runners into scoring position, bunted it in the air to Trimberger who doubled up Flores who had strayed too far at second base.  Moses followed with a base hit and Kade Flores was hit by a pitch to load the bases before Anglin struck out swinging to end the inning.


La Porte got a Drew Catron base hit in the fourth inning but couldn’t score.  In the fifth, La Porte got a one out single from Dubbs and Moses reached on an error putting two on with one out.  Kade Flores smacked what looked like a run scoring hit to left, but was robbed on a diving catch by Gee Fonseca.  Anglin was called out on strikes to end the inning.


Keli Hay had a two out hit in the sixth inning, but was unable to score.  In the seventh, Dubbs reached on an error with one out.  Moses hit what looked like a sure base hit into right field but was robbed by a diving Micinski.  Kade Flores grounded out to short to end the game.


Cody Ryden pitched a solid game for the Slicers.  Adams scored the game’s only two runs in the bottom of the second.  Two singles and a sacrifice bunt put Eagles on second and third with one out.  Trimberger knocked in the first run with a swinging bunt ground out to Catron.  Micinski singled to left driving in the second run.  Ryden pitched all six innings giving up the two runs on five hits.  He struck out three, walked one and hit two batters.  The Slicers played errorless defense behind him.


La Porte had seven hits in the game, drew a walk, had a hit batsman and two hitters reached errors but left nine runners on base.


Moses was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game on 96.7 The Eagle. He went 2-4, reached base three times and was the victim of a diving catch in the seventh inning.


La Porte falls to 13-7 on the season.  Adams improves to 12-4.


The Slicers have a busy week ahead.  Boone Grove will visit Schreiber Field on Monday, Merrillville comes to town Tuesday, and La Porte will visit the Pirates on Wednesday.  All three game scheduled to start at 4:30.  Next Saturday the Slicers will travel to Lowell for a double header starting at 10:00 AM.  You can hear all of these upcoming games on 96.7 The Eagle, online at 967TheEagle.com, or on the 96.7 The Eagle La Porte mobile app. 

Yakym Hears Concerns of Local Veterans

(La Porte, IN) - Indiana’s 2nd District Congressman Rudy Yakym made a special visit to La Porte earlier this week to meet with area veterans about their needs and concerns.


On Monday, Yakym held an informal discussion with a group of area veterans at the County Complex meeting room. They discussed bringing a clinic or more accessible services to La Porte County and current challenges with processing benefit claims in a timely manner. The failure of the Biden administration to provide leadership in these areas was also discussed.


Yakym gained valuable insight from the roundtable, saying afterwards, “My conversation with veterans in La Porte gave me a chance to better learn about some of the persistent challenges facing the veteran community and how we can best partner to solve them.” Yakym noted that his predecessor in office, the late Jackie Walorski, was a staunch advocate for veterans, and he intends to continue that focus.


County Commissioners Joe Haney and Connie Gramarossa participated, along with County Veterans Service Officer Joe Golec. “Really good in-depth conversations were had,” said Haney. I think everybody walked away from it pretty happy and much more well-informed.” According to Haney, a major obstacle for La Porte County veterans is access to VA care. Veterans have to drive to Crown Point or Mishawaka for some things as simple as getting results for routine blood work. A local clinic or a change in procedure would help veterans tremendously. Haney said bringing a VA clinic to the area is still a possibility, and Yakym seemed on board with helping to make that happen. “I know Congressman Yakym is going to push really hard for us,” Haney said. “I’m pretty excited in that regard, and we’ll do whatever we can here at the county if and when the time is appropriate.”

Walkerton Election Ends in Tie

(Walkerton, IN) - Local primary elections came and went this week without much drama.


But not in Walkerton, where the only contested political race ended in a tie.


Out of 10 town-related political races, only one was contested. Kyle Norris and Bryan Vandall vied for the Republican nomination for Walkerton Town Council. Both candidates wound up with 55 votes each.


Walkerton Republican precinct members will caucus to select a winner. Luckily, there’s three of them, so there shouldn’t be another tie.

McCormick Crosses Aisle to Run for Governor

(Indianapolis, IN) - A former Republican has entered the race for Governor as a Democrat.


Former State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jennifer McCormick, will run for the office soon to be left vacant by Eric Holcomb. McCormick was the last elected superintendent before the office became one of appointment by the governor. At that time, she ran as a Republican. She switched parties after leaveing office in 2021.


McCormick stressed civility and mentioned common sense six times in her five-minute announcement Thursday. "Everywhere I visit, no matter where I go, one thing is clear: Hoosiers do not recognize the out-of-touch divisiveness coming out of the statehouse," she said. "They expect a leader who believes in using common sense and bipartisanship to solve problems. They believe in someone who's going to make Indiana the best state that she can be."


McCormick visited South Bend Friday. She joins Bob Kern as Democratic hopefuls for 2024.


Sen. Mike Braun, Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, and Eric Doden are running on the Republican side.

Charges Pile Up from Traffic Stop

(La Porte, IN) - A La Porte man caught driving illegally is now facing drug charges.  William Miller, 59, is being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond.


According to court documents, he was pulled over by Indiana State Police early Tuesday in Michigan City in the area of Franklin Street and St. John Road.  During a computer records check, a trooper discovered the license plate on the Ford Mustang he was driving belonged to 2008 Honda Accord and Miller was wanted on an active felony warrant.  The troop also learned he had a lifetime ban on his driver’s license.


During a search, police said Miller was found with a small amount of methamphetamine, two marijuana cigarettes, a couple of hydrocodone pills along with a white powdery substance Miller claimed was “speed.”


Additional charges could be filed if the marijuana submitted for testing is found to contain fentanyl, police said.

City Kids Day Camp Open for Enrollment

(Michigan City, IN) - The Michigan City Parks & Recreation Department announces that City Kids Day Camp will begin its summer program in June.  The camp will run from June 5 through June 28.


City Kids Day Camp offers a variety of programs including arts & crafts, music games, exercise, field trips, and more.  Each day includes structured activities.


Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. except for June 19 and July 4 when the camp is closed.  The camp will be held at Lake Hills Elementary School at 201 Ferguson Road.


The cost is $55 per student per week or $35 per week for summer school students (1/2 day of camp).  All children ages 6-11 who have completed kindergarten are eligible. 


According to park department officials, the City Kids Day Camp is a fun and educational experience where children experience the benefits of making new friends, new memories and getting the most out of summer. 


Registration is open now and will continue on a first come, first serve basis until the camp is full.  Register at the Park Office, which is located at City Hall at 100 E. Michigan Blvd.  For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 219-873-1506.

Plan Calls for Road Paving Party

(La Porte County, IN) - A whole lot of road paving is planned in La Porte County this year.  How much gets paved, though, will be up to the La Porte County Council.


La Porte County Highway Department Superintendent, Al Stevens, has been given approval by the La Porte County Commissioners to go before the La Porte County Council with his request for an additional $2.5 million for road paving.  Stevens said the plan is to pave about 200 miles of road this year.  In comparison, he said 70 miles of road paving was done the past two years combined.


“We’re looking to do 200 miles, which is probably the most aggressive we’ve seen in recent history here in the county,” he said.


“It’s more than what most other counties in the state are doing but we have to draw a line in the sand somewhere and start getting these roads to get that condition rating up,” he said.


Stevens said the money is already in the budget in what’s called the Local Roads and Streets Fund.  The La Porte County Council, which oversees county government finances, is expected to consider his request at its next meeting on May 22.

Friedman Not Vying for Open County Attorney Seat

(La Porte County, IN) - The former La Porte County attorney says he will not be seeking the open seat on the La Porte County Commission, which is once again available. 


Shaw Friedman was county attorney for four years until replaced in January.  The La Porte County Commissioners voted Wednesday to terminate the new county attorney, Andrew B. Jones, once they find a replacement. 


Friedman said he has not been approached about becoming county attorney and he will not be pursuing the position.


“I’m sure the commissioners have an attorney in mind, otherwise they wouldn’t have made the change,” he said.


Friedman said his arms are open to help whoever becomes the next county attorney.


“I will certainly be available to answer any questions the new attorney might have about county legal issues just like we assisted Andrew Jones when he was appointed,” he said.


The county attorney’s position has been the source of much of the sometimes volcanic political infighting within La Porte County government since January of 2021.

Convicted Sex Offender Charged Again

(Michigan City, IN) - A Michigan City man could face significant time behind bars on multiple child sex counts.  Bertrell Randle, 41, allegedly molested a girl who was under 14 on more than one occasion in 2016 then engaged in sexual intercourse with her in 2018.  That’s the picture drawn by the allegations filed in La Porte Superior Court 1.


According to court documents, the investigation began in October after the girl came forward with the allegations.  The girl told investigators she kept quiet about what was happening out of fear of being harmed but opened up because he is now “far away and can’t hurt her.”


According to court records, Randle has a prior conviction for sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation.  He was arrested on April 28 and continued to be held on $100,000 bond. 


Randle could face as much as a 64 year sentence.

Works of Famous Local Artist From Yesterday on Display

(La Porte, IN) - A famous late artist from La Porte now has some of his works on display locally.  The Ralph Fletcher Seymour Exhibit is now open at the La Porte County Historical Society Museum on U.S. 35 outside the southern edge of the city.


After graduating from La Porte High School, Seymour went on to become one of the most famous artists in Chicago at the turn of the century.


He also gained a lot of notoriety for his Native American themed works in the southwest part of the nation.   His works of art are in the permanent collections of the Sorbonne in Paris, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the National Arts Club in Washington, D.C.


Currently, some of his pieces are on the wall of the museum gallery and will be until August.


Seymour was 89 when he died in 1966 in Batavia, Illinois.

Violent Offender on Parole Arrested Again

(Michigan City, IN) - A convicted rapist on parole was allegedly found with a gun and ammunition in a Michigan City motel room.  Troy Hensley, 25, is charged in La Porte Superior Court 1 with level 4 felony unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.


In 2016, he was given a 10-year prison sentence in La Porte Circuit Court for rape.  Four counts of child molesting in the case were dismissed.


On April 27, Indiana State Parole Agents responded to the Dunes Inn near U.S. 421 and Interstate 94 on a tip that Hensley was in possession of a gun.  A search of his motel room allegedly turned up a loaded 9 millimeter pistol and two magazines containing about 30 rounds.


Hensley told investigators he was given the gun about a week ago by a friend named “Spider” for protection. He also said he didn’t want to harm anyone, according to court documents.


Police said two boxes of ammunition containing 150 rounds were also found in his motel room.  Hensley said the ammunition was shoplifted from a sporting goods store in La Porte.


Hensley could face anywhere from a 2 to 12 year sentence along with additional time for the alleged parole violation.

Slicers Down Wolves 5-1, Seven Seniors Honored

The La Porte baseball program celebrated senior night Wednesday at Schreiber Field. RJ Anglin, Kade Flores, Tommy Samuelson, Brock Schultz, Jax Land, AJ Mrozinske, and Grant Olson, along with their parents were introduced and honored in a pregame ceremony. All seven seniors saw action as the Slicers defeated Michigan City 5-1 to stay in a second-place tie in the DAC.


Olson got the start and threw six innings of no-hit ball. The Wolves scored an unearned run in the third with two outs using a couple of walks and a throwing error. Olson struck out nine but did walk six. Samuelson pitched a scoreless seventh giving up singles to Colton Strope and Juan Olmos.


LP scored in the bottom of the first inning. Drew Catron dumped a base hit into right field with one out and scored on Anglin’s two-out double to right. The Slicers picked up another single run in the second inning. After Keli Hay lined out to center, Jax Land drew a walk. He moved to second on Brock Schultz’s bunt and scored on a solid hit up the middle by Kai Jones. LP led 2-0 after two innings.


After the Wolves cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third the Slicers picked up two in the bottom of the inning. Kade Flores doubled to left and scored on Anglin’s triple to right center. Anglin scored on a wild pitch. La Porte tacked on their fifth run in the fifth with the help of three seniors. Flores was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Anglin reached on an error with Flores moving to third. Samuelson picked up the RBI with a sacrifice fly to center. 


Ryan Cuma went the distance for MC. He allowed five runs, four earned, and five hits. The senior lefty struck out seven, walked one but hit three batters.


Olson was named the Salisbury and Spence Player of the Game. The Slicers improve to 13-6 on the season and 7-3 in the DAC. The Wolves fall to 4-13 and 0-10.


La Porte travels to South Bend Friday night for a 6:00 pm central time start vs South Bend Adams. The game will be played at School Field. LP and Adams will face off later in May in a first-round sectional game at Plymouth.


Photos Courtesy of Susan Anglin.

Prison Guard Charged with Drug Trafficking

(Westville, IN) - A female correctional officer at the prison in Westville is accused of attempting to bring a male inmate marijuana hidden in a Cheetos bag.  Adeja Cunningham, 24, of Calumet City, Illinois is charged with level 5 felony trafficking with an inmate.


According to court documents, authorities at Westville Correctional Facility discovered Cunningham and the offender had been chatting with each other on Instagram.  In one of the messages, prison authorities said “they talked about picking up something and that it would be in the chips,” court documents revealed.


While reporting for duty on April 30, authorities at the prison allegedly found her in possession of two snack food bags.  Marijuana was located in the over 8 oz. bag of “XXTRA Flamin’ Hot Cheetos,” court documents revealed.  The alleged marijuana weighed about three quarters of an ounce.


According to court documents, the investigation also turned up evidence of a possible sexual relationship between Cunningham and the inmate.  Cunningham offered no response to her alleged drug related actions, but denied having sex with the offender, prison officials said.


Court records show Cunningham was released Wednesday from the LaPorte County Jail after posting $1,500 bond.  A trial date will be set at her next hearing scheduled June 30 in La Porte Superior Court 2.  She could face anywhere from a one to six year sentence.

Police Vehicle Crash Investigation Completed

(La Porte, IN) - Police have completed their investigation of a collision between a car and law enforcement vehicle responding to a call in La Porte.  There were no serious injuries in the crash, which occurred about 5 p.m. on Monday.


According to police, La Porte Police Officer Alexander Mendoza, 27, was south bound on Andrew Avenue with his lights and sirens activated.  Police said he slowed down to less than 10 mph while approaching a red light at Indiana 2 on the city’s west side.  He proceeded into the intersection after noticing other vehicles stopping.


The officer then spotted one vehicle not slowing or stopping and took evasive measures to prevent a collision but was not able to avoid the westbound car, police said.  Police said the other driver, Jacob Burdine, 30, of LaPorte explained he heard the siren and looked for a police vehicle but his view was obstructed by a building at one of the corners of the intersection.


Burdine complained of pain to his chest while his passenger, Nicole Mathas, 30, complained of pain to her upper leg and hip.  Police said they refused medical attention.


The officer was not injured, police said.  Both of the vehicles were towed.

La Porte Now a Race Track for Internet Speed

(La Porte, IN) - Surf Internet has deployed multi-gigabyte fiber-optic internet services in La Porte, making it the provider’s first multi-gig city in Indiana.


Surf celebrated this extraordinary milestone with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their La Porte call center on Wednesday at State and Oregon streets, where La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody, representatives of the La Porte Economic Advancement Partnership, other elected officials, community partners, and Surf team members were in attendance.


“This is a celebration of the La Porte community’s transformation, the future of Surf Internet and our ongoing partnership,” said Gene Crusie, Surf CEO. "Multi-gigabit broadband is the next evolution of the internet experience, which opens up unlimited opportunities for personal and economic transformation."


Dermody agreed with him about the economic development potential of having access to twice as many gigs.


“The ability to call ourselves a multi-gig city will be instrumental in attracting businesses big and small to set up shop right here in La Porte. We are thrilled to be partnering once again with Surf Internet to achieve new heights,” he said.

Crusie said customers who subscribe to a 2 Gig plan will experience a noticeable increase in symmetrical speeds for even faster upload and download of data.


He said that is especially important when using an internet connection across multiple devices for e-learning, video conferencing, work-from-home, entertainment, and so much more.


Likewise, he said commercial customers not already on a dedicated internet service will see up to a 10-fold increase in bandwidth.


La Porte residents within Surf’s service area are able to sign up for 2 Gig service packages immediately.  Existing customers wishing to upgrade their plan will go through a simple sign-up process and be scheduled for in-home equipment installation.


To get started, go to https://surfinternet.com/2GIG.

Farmer-Friendly Legislation Celebrated

(Indianapolis, IN) - Indiana Farm Bureau is celebrating achievements on about a dozen measures it supported, including some aimed at providing cost savings to farmers, adopted this year by the state legislature.


The near four month long 2023 legislative session ended in late April. 


“We don’t take for granted the work of our grassroots during each legislative session, and this year was no different,” said Randy Kron, INFB president.


The successes listed by INFB include House Enrolled Act 419, which provides additional cost saving tax options for farmers with INFB Health Plans.


The bill also clarifies that farmers are exempt from the state sales tax on purchases of agriculture equipment used predominantly for agriculture purposes.


State Representative Jim Pressel of Rolling Prairie said the measures are designed to help farmers offset the impact of high inflation.


“We need to help them control some of their costs in being able to produce the food we all enjoy,” he said.


Pressel said the exemption is no different than what’s already offered primarily to retailers, who don’t have to pay the sales tax on goods they purchase to sell back to their customers.


“This is just to give them a little bit of relief,” he said.


Other cost relief legislation adopted in both chambers of the legislature includes Senate Enrolled Act 325, which updates the homestead standard deduction and gives more flexibility to detached buildings.


State lawmakers also approved at the request of the governor an increase in public health funding, including $225 million to make local public health departments in rural areas a priority.


Other INFB supported measures include a bill that directs the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to conduct an inventory of farmland lost in Indiana from 2010 to 2022.


That measure presented by State Rep. Kendell Culp of Rensselaer was recently signed by the governor.


Pressel said the purpose is to find out how much farmland is left in the state and whether there are any concerns over the amount of ground remaining and the rate it’s disappearing.


He said the need for an inventory is elevated because new sources of farmland loss such as construction of solar energy and wind farms along with electric battery making plants have emerged in recent years.


“I think it’s a real good idea that we have an idea of how much of that has been taken out of inventory because, honestly, I don’t know that anybody knows for certain in the whole state how much have we lost.  It’s good information for us to have locally and at the state level,” he said.


INFB also spoke favorably about it efforts behind the passage of Senate Enrolled Act 451.


The bill was contested but is now on its way to the governor’s desk following considerable discussion and compromise.


The legislation addresses a plan to inject global warming carbon captured by industries deep into the ground in the Terre Haute area to prevent the gas from escaping into the atmosphere.


Pressel said much of the issue over the measure involved farmers’ property rights and whether land storing carbon miles below the surface of farm ground still belongs to the farmer.


“With the help of our members speaking out about private property rights, reaching out to their elected officials, and the determination of our lobbying team, we were able to accomplish a huge compromise on this one including a higher compensation rate,” said Andy Tauer, INFB executive director of public policy.


Another adopted measure supported by INFB included House Enrolled Act 1454 which helps taxpayers filing assessment appeals, adds tools to fund local EMS and create more transparency on Tax Increment Financing district reporting.


The bill also requiring monitoring on residential TIF areas.


“I’m so proud of what we were able to accomplish this budget session and always impressed by how much legislators lean on INFB to advise them on bills that could impact agriculture and our rural communities,” said Kron.

Fatal Crash Still Under Probe

(La Porte County, IN) - Authorities are still investigating a head-on collision that claimed the life of a 21-year-old Michigan City man. Miguel Angel Melchi-Beltran of Michigan City was pronounced dead at the scene, per La Porte County Coroner Lynn Swanson.


La Porte County Police said emergency responders early Friday responded to the area of U.S. 35 and 400 North, where the collision resulted after one of the drivers crossed the center line. After impact, the Chevrolet passenger vehicle operated by the deceased burst into flames. The other driver, Kevin Baker, 37, of La Porte was extricated from a Chrysler min-van and airlifted to a regional hospital.


Authorities were still waiting for blood tests results to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident. Swanson said it could be two weeks or longer before the test results are known.


So far, no light has been shed on which driver was at fault in the crash due to the investigation still being ongoing.


Swanson stated the victim died of blunt force trauma, with extensive burns being the secondary factor in his death. Arrangements for Beltran are pending with Lakeview Funeral Home and Crematory in La Porte. 

Ax Drops on President and County Attorney

(La Porte County, IN) - The La Porte County Commissioners on Wednesday replaced their board president and attorney well before their one-year terms expire.


Joe Haney was ousted as president and replaced by Connie Gramarossa in separate 2-to-1 votes by Gramarossa and Rich Mrozinski in support of the move. Gramarossa and Mrozinski were also in the majority in the decision to terminate Andrew B. Jones as county attorney.


The decisions seemed to represent a thunderous shift in power because it was Gramarossa siding with Haney in naming him commission president in early January.


That same day, Gramarossa and Haney voted to hire Jones to replace former county attorney Shaw Friedman.


The decisions came after Haney acting on tips learned Gramarossa drove a county-owned vehicle to Chicago on March 16th without seeking permission from the commissioners to take it outside the state.


She was later operating the county-owned 2021 Ford Escape when she caused the accident.


Haney also accused her of never telling the commissioners about the crash as required. Instead, Haney said she began driving her personal vehicle to report for work at the commissioners’ office while the taxpayer-owned car was nowhere in sight.


Eventually, Haney said he located the vehicle at a local body shop and estimated the damage at roughly $20,000.


According to a Chicago Police report, Gramrossa before 6 a.m. struck the back end of a vehicle stopped for a red light on Halsted Street.


During the meeting, Gramarossa said she took the car in a rush after receiving a phone call that her son was in a hospital in Chicago. She said no light was shed during the call on the condition of her son.


She said her sense of urgency was heighted because her son is still impacted by a traumatic brain injury suffered when he was younger and is deaf.  Therefore, she felt more of a need to be there as quickly as possible to act as a sign language interpreter so her son and doctors could communicate.


“Like any mother would have, I went in the first vehicle that was available to me. I didn’t think.  I didn’t hesitate to be at his bedside,” she said.


She said the accident happened early the next morning while heading back “sleep deprived and, frankly, still shaking from my son’s hospitalization.”   


Haney expressed remorse over the circumstances, but felt there was no excuse for what he alleged was an attempted cover-up.


“We all make mistakes, but covering it up?  It’s inappropriate,” he said.


The termination of Jones was tied to La Porte County Prosecutor Sean Fagan’s request for all of the e-mails last year from the former prosecutor and several of his staff members.  Jones strongly advised to turn them over or risk being sued by the Indiana Attorney General’s Office.


A majority of the commissioners, expressing concerns about privacy violations and political witch hunts, voted not to.


Jones said e-mails from a prosecutor’s office belong to the prosecutor who works for the state.  Later, Jones said he was contacted by Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita, who asked if he could speak with Gramarossa and Mrozinski the following day about the matter.  Jones then contacted Gramarossa, the latter having said he gave her the times Rokita was available to speak, but she rejected his invitation.


”He’s suing us and I didn’t think it was appropriate that our attorney would put us in jeopardy in talking to an adversary,” she said.


Jones accepted a request by the commissioners to stay on as county attorney until a replacement is appointed in two weeks.        

Taking Care of Business, Slicers Top Michigan City 7-1

The La Porte baseball team used the strong arm of RJ Anglin and some shaky MC defense in route to a 7-1 DAC victory over the Wolves. The win upped the Slicer record at 12-6 on the season and 6-3 in the DAC, keeping them in a tie for second place behind 8-0 Lake Central.


Anglin was overpowering on the mound, allowing one run on three hits. He struck out 13 and uncharacteristically walked four over six innings. The Wolves scored their only run in the sixth using three walks and a bloop hit to score. Brock Schultz pitched the seventh allowing a walk, picking up a strikeout and starting a 1-6-3 double play to end the game.


Freshman Cody Benedict was impressive on the mound for MC. He pitched four innings allowing two runs, both unearned and three hits. He struck out four and walked three. Jack Barnes threw two innings allowing three runs, only one earned and three hits.  Jeffrey Hazel pitched the seventh inning allowing two unearned runs.


The Slicers took a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Ben Dubbs, who reached base five times in game without a hit, grounded to short. Michigan City first baseman Colton Strope took his foot off of the base early allowing Dubbs to reach. Kade Flores dropped a double into right field scoring Dubbs.


LP added a run in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Benedict retired the first two hitters and got Drew Flores to hit a ground ball to third. The third baseman’s throw was wild and the speedy Flores went all the way to third. Kai Jones and Dubbs drew walks to load the bases. Jax Land hit a ground ball that the shortstop couldn’t handle and the Slicers were up 2-0.


La Porte picked up another single run in the fifth to make it 3-0. Anglin hit a pop up to short left the fell in for a double. Tommy Samuelson was clipped by a pitch. AJ Mrozinske, courtesy running for Anglin, was thrown out at third trying to advance on  a pitch that got away from sophomore catcher Brady O’Malley. Samuelson advance to second on the play and scored on Keli Hay’s RBI single.


The Slicers scored two runs on just a hit in both the sixth and seventh innings. In the sixth a walk to Dubbs followed by Kade Flores being hit with a pitch set up an RBI single by Samuelson. In the seventh LP used two Michigan City errors and an RBI single from Drew Flores to make it 7-1.


Anglin was named the Salisbury and Spence Edward Jones Player of the Game. He picked up the win striking out 13 over six innings and went 2-4 at the plate. Catcher Keli Hay was also 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Leadoff man Dubbs reached base five times, drawing three walks and reaching twice on errors. He also stole three bases. 


Michigan City falls to 4-12 on the season and 0-9 in the DAC. The future is bright for the Wolves, four freshman and two sophomores played in the game. The Slicers played without centerfielder Ryan Bruemmer who is out with a hamstring injury and catcher Carter Moses who has arm stiffness.


The Slicers will host the Wolves Wednesday night at Schreiber Field. It is Senior Night and seven seniors, RJ Anglin, Kade Flores, Tommy Samuelson, Brock Schultz, Jax Land, AJ Mrozinske, and Gran Olson,  will be honored starting at 4:00. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30.

Incumbents from La Porte Win in Primary

(La Porte, IN) - Both incumbents on the city council in La Porte won their respective Republican primary races Tuesday night.


Republican Tim Franke was easily the top-voted nominee for one of the two open at-large seats.


Franke, who is in the fourth year of his first term, received 449 votes compared to 285 votes for Lauren Huffman and 249 votes for Evan Wooding.


Franke and Huffman gained the Republican Party nominations since they were the top two vote getters for two open seats.  He feels the outcome shows people like the results they’re getting from the elected officials now in place.


“We’ve all worked extremely hard over the last four-years to improve our community and we don’t want to take our foot off the gas.  I think the results show, overall, the community is pleased with the direction the city is going,” he said.


Republican incumbent Laura Konieczny defeated Larry Pinkerton in the City Council 5th ward race by about a two to one margin.


There were no other contested races in La Porte.


So far, there are no Democratic challengers for the two open Council At-Large seats, but the party has time to slate candidates for the November general election.

Deuitch Landslide Over Meer for Mayor

(Michigan City, IN) - A former two-term Michigan City mayor has failed in his bid to reclaim the seat he once held.


Ron Meer received slightly over 14-percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election.


Angie Nelson Deuitch, who’s currently a member of the City Council, received 51-percent of the vote.


“We worked hard.  I got the calluses on my feet to prove it,” she told a room full of spirited supporters during her acceptance speech last night. 


La Porte County Councilman Mark Yagelski and former City Councilman Johnny Stimley finished slightly ahead of Meer.


Meer won the Democratic Party nomination in 2019 but narrowly lost his attempt for a third consecutive term to current Mayor Duane Parry in the general election five months later.  


Parry, who ran unopposed for the Republican nomination, will face Deuitch and Mike Walker, a libertarian, in November.


Deuitch said she overcame some negative campaigning and vowed to keep delivering a positive message on the campaign trail in the months ahead.


“This is all about positive imaging and we’re going to keep that energy going,” she said.


Deuitch formerly worked for the Northern Indiana Public Service Company. Currently, she operates I&D Squared, a consulting firm focusing on inclusion and diversity.

Collision Involving Police Vehicle

(La Porte, IN) - No serious injuries were reported from a motor vehicle collision involving a La Porte Police vehicle early last evening.


La Porte Assistant Police Chief Bill Degnegaard said an officer, in response to a call, was going through the intersection at Indiana 2 and Andrew Ave. when his and another's vehicles collided.


Degnegaard said one of the drivers complained of pain.


The police vehicle sustained what appeared to be moderate front end damage.


“It sounded like it was just the bumper, headlights and the grill pretty much,” he said.


Degnegaard said he wouldn’t be able to provide more specifics until the ongoing investigation was completed. There was still daylight when the collision happened.

OWI Arrest After Near Collision with Officer

A La Porte County Police officer went to go extremes to avoid being struck by a vehicle driven by a suspected impaired driver.


Richard Santana, 23, of Michigan City is charged with Class A Misdemeanor Operating while Intoxicated.


The officer was stopped at a red light at about 2 a.m. on Sunday. Santana was traveling at a high rate of speed on U.S. 20 and attempted to turn right onto Johnson Road. The officer, concerned he was about to be hit, pulled into the intersection and conducted a U-turn to avoid a collision.


According to police, Santana exhibited various symptoms of intoxication, claiming he was trying to drive his friends and himself home from a nearby bar.


His alleged blood alcohol level was .137 percent or slightly two times below the legal limit.

Voter Turnout Exceeding Expectations

(La Porte County, IN) - So far, voter turnout in La Porte County today is stronger than what some people expected.


La Porte County Clerk Heather Stevens says turnout is higher in Michigan City, which has several contested races for Mayor and City Council.  In comparison, La Porte has just only two contested races for City Council seats. 


Both of the mayoral candidates in La Porte are running unopposed for their respective party nominations.


“People are out there voting.  Michigan City is hopping.  La Porte is doing pretty well.  Not as slow as we thought it might be,” she said.


Stevens also said there were slightly more than 1,000 early votes cast with a very high percentage of those votes from Michigan City.


857 early votes were cast in Michigan City compared to 97 in La Porte and 116 on the mobile voting unit which spent time in Michigan City, La Porte and Kingsford Heights. Kingsford Heights has two contested races for town council.


So far, Stevens says there have no major difficulties.

Real School Record Breaker Emerges

(New Buffalo, MI) - Roger Lijewski remains the all-time king in the pole vault at New Buffalo High School after breaking the school record in 1975.


The school mistakenly announced during an April 26th home track meet that Jack Lantz was the new school record holder after he cleared the stick in the pole vault at 11’ 6”.


Lijewski opened one of his scrap books containing newspaper articles and pictures about his many achievements as a three-sport star athlete for the Bison. He did so after his youngest son, Payton, a member of the track team, informed him about the announcement when he returned home after the competition. 


Lijewski saw the clipping about his school pole vaulting record established when he cleared the stick at 12’ 4” as a sophomore and had it shown to New Buffalo High School Athletic Director Matt Johnson.


Johnson said the mistake was from not having complete records dating back that far in the pole vault.


He said pole vaulting was no longer offered as a sport at some point after Lijewski graduated in 1978 and returned to the program roughly 10 to 15 years ago. 


He said history will be corrected to reflect Lijewski’s record jump unless someone else who went higher on the stick has proof to verify it.


“It was an honest mistake,” Johnson said. 


In the meantime, Johnson said an effort is already underway to fill as many gaps in the record books as much as possible in all athletics.


“There’s a couple of sports where we’re trying to piece together some of the missing data,” he said.


Lijewski, a former member of the school board and current member of the city council, might be able to help the most in the history gathering. 


He was given a number of record books for sports when the old high school on Whittaker Street closed about 20-years ago.


Lijewski said he plans to turn those over to Johnson as soon as possible.


He said he feels for Lantz and the emotional letdown he must have experienced when told about the mistake.


However, Lijewski said he hopes Lantz does break his record before he graduates next year and feels he has a chance if he keeps practicing. 


Lijewski said he was a pole vaulter every year in high school and he never topped 12 feet again. He said his next highest jump was just two or three inches above the height Lantz achieved recently.


The longtime owner of Roger’s Wrecker Service in New Buffalo was also the school record holder with more than 2,000 career rushing yards in football until his son, Adam, exceeded the mark in 2002. 


“You like to see your sons knock you off the top of the list and there’s more Lijewski’s coming up.  That’s the great thing,” he said.

Primary Election Day

(La Porte County, IN) - It’s primary election day throughout Indiana, and polls statewide are open until 6 p.m.


In La Porte, there are currently two contested races.


Incumbent Tim Franke, along with Lauren Huffman and Evan Wooding, are running for the Republican nomination for two City Council at-large seats.  In the 5th Ward City Council race, it’s incumbent Laura Konieczny challenged by Larry Pinkerton for the Republican nomination.


In Michigan City, there are several contested races, including the one for mayor.


Former two-term mayor Ron Meer, City Councilpersons Angie Nelson Deuitch and Michael Mack, along with County Councilman Mark Yagelski and former City Councilman Johnny Stimley, are seeking the Democratic Party nomination.


The winner will go up against incumbent Duane Parry, who is currently running unopposed as a Republican and Libertarian Mike Walker.


Other contested races in Michigan City include one for open seats in the City Council At-large, where the Democratic Party nomination is sought by incumbents Don Przybylinski and Bryant Dabney, along with former Councilman Tim Bietry and former La Porte County Democratic Party chairman Dr. Vidya Kora.


In Kingsford Heights, Kari Moss and Duane Arndt are seeking the Democratic Party nomination for 2nd Ward Town Council while Joe Atkinson and Jeana Blake are vying for the Town Council seat from the 4th Ward. 

Disturbance at Store Leads to Arrest

(La Porte County, IN) - A man bothering a store clerk resulted in a call to police who allegedly found him driving under the influence of methamphetamine this morning.


Matthew Chambers, 27, of La Porte has been arrested for Operating while Intoxicated.


According to La Porte County Police, officers after 5 a.m. responded to the Family Express at 1004 East Indiana 2 on a complaint of two men bothering the store clerk. Upon arrival, officers spotted Chambers pulling from a parking space in front of the store to beside one of the pumps. A bystander told the officer that Chambers and another man in the car were the individuals causing a disturbance in the store.


Per the authorities, Chambers exhibited signs of impairment such as slurred speech and bloodshot eyes. Police said he admitted being a methamphetamine user but claimed the last time he used was drug was three weeks ago. In addition, he also admitted to consuming alcohol, but a test found no alcohol in his system.


Chambers was taken into custody after given another test to determine drug use.

Fatal Crash Victim Identified

(La Porte County, IN) - The victim of a fiery fatal head on collision outside La Porte has been identified.


Miguel Angel Melchi-Beltran, 21, of Michigan City was pronounced dead at the scene, according to La Porte County Coroner Lynn Swanson.


La Porte County Police said emergency responders early Friday were called to the area of U.S. 35 and 400 North. 


Police said the head-on collision resulted after one of the drivers crossed the center line.


After impact, the Chevrolet passenger vehicle operated by the deceased burst into flames, police said.


La Porte County Police said the other driver, Kevin Baker, 37, of La Porte was extricated from a Chrysler min-van and airlifted to a regional hospital.


Authorities were still waiting for blood tests results to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

Police Snare Alleged Drug Dealer

(Michigan City, IN) - An alleged Michigan City drug dealer is scheduled to go before a judge today for his initial court hearing.


40-year-old Bobby Franklin is charged with Dealing in a Narcotic Drug, his arrest being tied to a search of a home at 3010 Cleveland Avenue.


An undisclosed amount of suspected drugs along with two firearms were recovered from the residence during the search.  According to police, the investigation was in response to complaints of possible illegal activity at the home.


Franklin is being held on $50,000 bond pending the outcome of his initial hearing at the courthouse in Michigan City.


The drug he allegedly sold has not been disclosed. Under Indiana law, though, dealing in a narcotic drug means the accused was possibly involved in the sale of larger quantities of heroin.


Franklin could face anywhere from a 10-to-30 year sentence on the Level 2 Felony charge.

Running Red Light Blamed in Fatal Crash

(La Porte County, IN) - Authorities are still investigating a fatal motor vehicle crash between a passenger vehicle and semi-truck in La Porte County that ocurred Thursday afternoon at U.S. 30 and State Road 39.


Police said 39-year-old Brent Freyenberger was westbound when he disregarded a red light and was broadsided by a southbound semi-truck.


Freyenberger of Plymouth was pronounced dead at the scene while the truck driver, 37-year-old Kody Hansen of North Judson, sustained only an upper body injury.


Whether alcohol or drugs were involved, so far, are not known. Police were still waiting for the blood test results.

Fatal Head-On Collision

(La Porte County, IN) - A fiery fatal head-on collision outside La Porte remains under investigation. Emergency responders were called earlier on Friday to the area of U.S. 35 and 400 North.


The head-on collision resulted after one of the drivers traveling U.S. 35 crossed the center line.  After impact, the Chevrolet passenger vehicle operated by the deceased burst into flames.


So far, authorities have not released the name of the driver, who was pronounced dead at the scene.


La Porte County Police said the other driver, Kevin Baker, 37, of La Porte was extricated from a Chrysler min-van and airlifted to a regional hospital.


Authorities were still waiting for blood tests results to determine if alcohol or drugs were involved in the accident.

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