Gary officials defend efforts to demolish vacant buildings


GARY — Gary finds itself under an unflattering national media spotlight as the dumping ground for a serial killer, but Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is standing by her city and the work its done to dispel crime and blight. Freeman-Wilson, Police Chief Larry McKinley, police Cmdr. …

Candlelight vigil shines light on domestic violence


CROWN POINT — As she walked down Court Street with about three dozen men, women and children Tuesday night, Shemata Chatman began to softly sing, “we’re not gonna take it, we’re not gonna take it anymore.”

“The song tells the way I feel,” the 28-year-old …

Fugitive Yager’s girlfriend killed in Mexican chase


A Crown Point woman who had been missing for 17 years died in a car crash last week after fleeing Mexican authorities who had captured her fugitive boyfriend, according to the U.S. Marshals Service

Margie Jelovcic, 47, had been on the run with 58-year-old Randy …

Sales near of Gary properties once the center of scandal

GARY — The city is in the final stretch of selling or transferring long-vacant properties owned by the scandal-tainted Gary Urban Enterprise Association.

The city council introduced ordinances Tuesday on the pending sales of three properties, including the old Screw & Bolt factory at 901 …

Gary decides strip club not the right gateway to Miller


GARY — The Board of Zoning Appeals denied a variance Tuesday that would have allowed a strip club to open at 3201 E. Dunes Highway near Interstate 65.

The business owners, Mike Scandura and Panicos Kaloghirou, of Alsip, Ill., say they will appeal the rejection …

Gary’s fight vs. blight comes with a significant pricetag


GARY — The city’s fight with blight is being magnified since its stockpile of abandoned homes has become a graveyard for an alleged serial killer’s victims. Police say Darren Deon Vann was familiar with several of the dilapidated homes and stashed women’s bodies in them. …

Gary teams inspect abandoned buildings for evidence


GARY — Homicide detectives routinely return to scenes of the crime, sometimes several times, to search for additional evidence and become more familiar with the landscape. But on Tuesday, those detectives, joined by other investigators and rookies waiting to begin academy training, divided into groups …

Pimp gets 45 years in interstate beating death of woman


A violent attack that started at a Portage gas station and eventually killed a woman will send a South Bend pimp to prison for 45 years.

U.S. District Judge Philip Simon issued the sentence last week for Nathan Huey-Dingle, 32, who pleaded guilty earlier this …

Former Baptist church pastor drops appeal in sex case


Former First Baptist Church of Hammond pastor Jack Schaap has indicated he wants to drop his appeal of his 12-year sentence for taking an underage parishioner across state lines for sex, according to court records.

Schaap’s lawyer, Charles Murray, filed a motion last week in …

Victim found in basement ID’d as Gary woman


GARY — A third alleged victim of admitted serial killer Darren Vann has been identified as the daughter of Starke County plan commissioner Bruce Williams. At the same time, the Lake County coroner is seeking the public’s help to identify one of the first women …

Death penalty considered for Hammond murder suspect: Prosecutor


Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter said Tuesday he and his staff have begun a review to determine whether they will file the death penalty against suspected serial killer Darren Deon Vann.

Although charges have been filed in only one of the seven homicides that Vann …

Coroner seeks family for Hammond man who died Oct. 10

The Lake County Coroner’s office is seeking the family of a Hammond man who died Oct. 10.

Robert J. Budnyk lived in the 6000 block of Monroe Avenue and died at his home, the coroners office said. He had lived in Mokena, Ill., previously.

Anyone …

Pathologist says bone found in abandoned Gary home not human


Gary investigators late Tuesday morning discovered a piece of a bone while searching an abandoned home in the 2400 block of Connecticut Street.

A Lake County pathologist said Tuesday afternoon that the bone was not human, police said.

Investigators are continuing to search abandoned homes …

Homeless Gary man sentenced in sex case

Lake Superior Court Judge Diane Ross Boswell on Monday sentenced a homeless Gary man to three years for sexual conduct in the presence of a minor. Robert Gajda, 24, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced the same day, had already served his sentence. He admitted …

Damaged pipes scuttle Deep River ice rink for season


CROWN POINT -- Last season’s harsh winter is putting an end to this season’s ice skating at Deep River Water Park.

Jim Basala, Lake County Parks chief operating officer, said when workers began getting the system ready for the water park’s annual “Ice Skate the …