Hebron severance agreement with former chief removes termination

HEBRON — A confidential severance agreement between former Hebron Police Chief Steven Sibbrell and the town of Hebron notes that, as part of the agreement, the town will “delete any reference to termination or any accusations of wrongdoing” in Sibbrell’s personnel file.

Sibbrell also asked …

Indiana lawmakers spend $343,490 on travel

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana lawmakers took 188 trips during the past 26 months costing taxpayers a total of $343,490 during a time when Gov. Mike Pence has already said he plans to eliminate some state programs as he develops a proposed two-year budget.

Most of …

Autumn’s Army helps in fight against cancer


VALPARAISO — Autumn’s Army was in full force Sunday, with many in the 16-member brigade wearing pink shirts that said, “Fight like a girl” on the front. The group was on the courthouse square to support Autumn Degard, 35, of Portage, during the annual Making …

Democrat Urbanik in 2nd bid to top Wichlinski for auditor


VALPARAISO — Democrat Vicki Urbanik, candidate for Porter County auditor, said she would bring bipartisanship, better communication, and greater accuracy and responsibility to the office if elected. Urbanik, the County Council’s budget and finance specialist for the past year and a half and a former …

1850s-era Valparaiso building in line for upgrdes


VALPARAISO — The building that houses Tommy B’s restaurant is scheduled to get some improvements this year, and the city’s facade improvement grant program may help fund it.

Charlie McGill, owner the building at 13 E. Lincolnway, presented his application for the grant at last …

Hunter with a plan promotes deer cull on county land


VALPARAISO — Bryan McFadden has a plan. He would like to help control the deer population on public land in the area, including property owned by the Porter County Parks and Recreation Department, and, through grant money, have the deer that are killed by bow …

Visclosky and Leyva vie again in round six


Contrasting political views are crystallized in the 1st District U.S. House race between 15-term Democrat Peter J. Visclosky, and six-time GOP candidate Mark Leyva. Donna Dunn, of Hammond, is the candidate of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. The district includes Lake and Porter counties and …

Walk for heroin casualty brings attention to treatment


PORTAGE — Jeff Yates can describe how he felt when his son Dylan died of a heroin overdose in May when he was 23. “How it destroyed my family and tore us all apart. That’s pretty much it,” said Yates, who lives in Valparaiso. About …

East Porter hunting for bus drivers


KOUTS -- Getting children to school is a challenge for the East Porter County Schools district.

“Bus drivers are like gold,” said Jill Bibler, board president. “Every corporation struggles to keep them. In fact a couple places have to run double routes and the kids …

New contract for NIRPC director

PORTAGE — Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission Executive Director Tyson Warner has a new two-year contract, approved last week by NIRPC’s board of commissioners.

Warner will receive an annual salary of $132,275 and the contract expires Dec. 31, 2016. Warner joined NIRPC in 2012.

The …

Valparaiso Harvest fest draws thousands of children, families to downtown


VALPARAISO – The ghosts and goblins, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Elsas from “Frozen” were out in full force Friday on Lincolnway for the annual Fall Harvest Festival.

And merchants were ready for the 3,000 trick or treaters the event brings out.

“It’s just fun …

Sheriff candidate leads way in campaign funds

VALPARAISO – Democrat David Reynolds, the former two-term Porter County Sheriff who is seeking the post again, has raised the most money of any candidate running in the Nov. 4 general election, more than twice the amount generated by his Republican opponent.

Campaign finance reports, …

Valparaiso school chief announces grades the state held

VALPARAISO -- Although the school accountability grades are being held by the state and are not yet official, local schools have an idea of their scores.

Valparaiso Community School Superintendent Ric Frataccia said Thursday that Valparaiso High School and seven of the eight elementary schools …

Law & Order

VALPARAISO Two charged  in vehicle burglaries Two city residents have been charged with breaking into several vehicles in the city and are suspected of committing more vehicle burglaries, according to police. Jonathan Racine, 20, and Tristan Landrum, 18, were arrested early Wednesday after police got …

Porter County ‘15 budget final reading announced

VALPARAISO – The Porter County Council made quick work of housekeeping matters Thursday.

In a meeting that lasted about six minutes, Council President Dan Whitten, D-At-large, announced the final reading of the county’s 2015 budget was continued to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the commissioners …