Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ Fatal motorcycle crash ties up traffic on ramp to I-65 south from I-94 east ]]>

GARY — Eastbound Interstate 80/94 at the southbound Interstate 65 ramp was down to one lane Wednesday night after an accident involving a semitrailer and a motorcycle that left the motorcycle driver dead. A spokesman with the Indiana State Police said the right lane of the ramp was closed and traffic was getting by in the left lane and left shoulder while police continued their investigation. The area has been the scene of ongoing road construction. The Lake County Coroner’s Office idenitified the motorcycle driver as Nicholas Stucker, 28, of Hobart. … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 23:39:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Former Bears players coach kids ]]> Lead story image

CROWN POINT — Young football players from around Northwest Indiana had the chance Wednesday to run drills with a couple of former Chicago Bears during the first Indiana Chicago Bears Youth Football Camp. Former linebacker Mickey Pruitt and defensive tackle Anthony Adams headlined the camp, which drew youth from throughout the area for a chance to learn from and interact with pros. “It’s really fun,” an excited Gage Anderson, 10, of Winfield said. Participants were broken into small squads to work with coaches and the former NFL stars who ran drills, talked safety and encouraged the kids to work hard … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:00:50 -0500 <![CDATA[ Merrillville considers jailing no-show property owners ]]> Lead story image

MERRILLVILLE — Owners of blighted property who fail to attend unsafe building/blight hearings when summoned could end up in jail, under an ordinance being considered by the Town Council. Attorney Michael Deppe, who represents the town during the monthly hearings, recommended the hearing officer be given contempt power, which would provide him the authority to issue a bench warrant for property owners who skip more than one hearing. Deppe also recommended that any funds generated from fines for blighted properties be placed in a nonreverting rainy day fund, to be used in the event the town needs to demolish a … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:02:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Sewer district may face penalties ]]>

A new court filing hints that Gary and the Gary Sanitary District could be held at least partly responsible for violations at the district when it was under the management of a private company. The government filed a motion Monday asking a federal judge to approve a settlement between it and United Water, which operated the sanitary district for 12 years until 2010. The proposed deal calls for the company to pay $645,000 in fines to Indiana and the federal government for violations at the district under United Water’s management. The government is also in talks with Gary and the … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:01:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ New leaders at Gary’s Thea Bowman charter school ]]>

GARY — Two new leaders will take over as principals at two Thea Bowman Leadership Academy charter school campuses on Friday. Charles Williams, the school’s assistant principal, was elevated to the principal’s job at the middle/high school at 3401 W. 5th Ave., and Clara Thigpen, a data coach and former elementary teacher for Gary Community School Corp., is the new elementary principal at the campus at 975 W. 6th Ave. They replace Rubye James, who served as principal at the high school/junior high, and Alethea Fontleroy, former principal at the elementary/middle school campus. Both educators resigned, but an official at … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:01:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Franciscan Medical Specialists’ newest building receives blessing ]]> Lead story image

The Franciscan Medical Specialists’ newest facility was blessed and dedicated on Tuesday with the Rev. Gregory Holicky performing the blessing. The building, at 759 45th St., Munster, opened on June 23 and houses five physicians and five physical therapists who practice orthopedic, podiatry and physical therapy services. The physicians include Dr. David Harris, Dr. Jonathan Javors, Dr. Jeffrey Meier, Dr. Upendra Patel and Dr. John Rachoy. Through a consolidation effort, the team of health care providers will offer the same services but they will work together in one location. The ceremony was hosted by Barb Greene, president of Franciscan Healthcare-Munster; … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:03:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ Law & Order: Gary teen arrested after fleeing ]]>

Police arrested a Gary teen who ran from them Monday afternoon after they tried to speak to him about loitering. ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 18:00:01 -0500 <![CDATA[ Two charged in shooting of woman, daughters in Hammond ]]> Lead story image

HAMMOND — Two men have been charged with shooting an Addison, Illinois, woman and her two daughters who drove to Hammond to purchase cellphones on Sunday. Alan Lavelle Ross Jr., 17, of Hammond, and Joseph Alonzo Pleasure, 20, of East Chicago, are each charged with three counts of attempted murder, three counts of aggravated battery, three counts of battery resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, and one count of attempted armed robbery, according to Hammond police. The 41-year-old woman drove to Hammond to purchase cellphones from a person she had communicated … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:02:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lake County Courts: Charges filed in Cedar Lake shooting ]]>

A Lowell man faces criminal charges for allegedly shooting a man in the leg during a disturbance Sunday night in Cedar Lake. ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 17:46:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Body found on beach ID’d as man missing since May ]]>

A man pulled from Lake Michigan near Whiting on Monday has been identified as a Chicago trader missing since a May boating accident that killed two other people. Orest Sopka, 30, of Chicago, was pulled from the lake near Whiting Beach a few minutes before 8 p.m. Monday, officials said. The Lake County Coroner’s office confirmed his identity through medical records from a previous surgery, the office said in a statement. Results of a Wednesday autopsy were not immediately released. Sopka was one of four people on board a 33-foot cabin cruiser that sank several miles off the coast of … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:02:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Daughter charged in Crown Point mom’s death ]]> Lead story image

GARY--Police arrested the 17-year-old daughter of DeCarol Deloney Cain on Wednesday, just as she was charged with killing her mother. Alyssa Barrett is charged with murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury. Barrett’s boyfriend, Damarius Rashard McGriggs, was already charged with killing the Crown Point flight attendant July 7 and leaving the woman’s body in the trunk of her car on a vacant wooded street on the city’s east side. Police said the pair plotted to kill DeLoney Cain because she wanted her daughter to have an abortion. Detective Richard McClelland arrested Barrett at the Public Safety Facility after obtaining charges Wednesday morning. Both Barrett and McGriggs are being held without bail. ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:02:30 -0500 <![CDATA[ Blount enters not guilty plea in killing of Gary cop ]]> Lead story image

CROWN POINT — A Gary man charged with murder in the shooting of Gary police Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield had a brief appearance in court Wednesday to formally enter a not guilty plea. Carl Le’Ellis Blount, who turned 26 on Tuesday, waived the reading of the charge through his attorney, Robert Varga, as he stood shackled before Lake Superior Court Judge Samuel Cappas with extra security officers present. Blount’s omnibus hearing is Sept. 17. Deputy prosecutors David Urbanski and Monica Rogina are prosecuting the case. Blount is charged in the July 6 shooting of Westerfield, 47, whose last radio traffic at … ]]> Thu, 31 Jul 2014 02:02:41 -0500 <![CDATA[ Attorney: Minor scam tried to set up Lake Station mayor ]]> Lead story image

LAKE STATION — Mayor Keith Soderquist’s attorney says someone tried to make it appear that his client, who’s under federal indictment for allegedly stealing public funds, made a private purchase recently at a retail store using city funds. Scott King said Tuesday that Soderquist was preparing payable invoices for the first city council meeting of July when he noticed a $70 invoice for lumber from the Portage Menards store, with which the city has an account. The invoice used the city account number, but instead of listing the city as the purchaser, it listed “Soderquist Construction,” with the mayor’s home … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:02:04 -0500 <![CDATA[ Bank robber blames drug use, sentenced to 12 years in prison ]]> Lead story image

A Michigan man who went on a bank robbing spree, including hitting one in Munster, in 2012 will serve almost 12 years in prison for three of those crimes. Beaver Bernard Russell, 50, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, apologized for his crimes during his sentencing hearing Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Hammond, describing his long journey with cocaine addiction, which started after he graduated from high school “My drug use had the best of me,” Russell told U.S. District Judge Rudy Lozano. Russell told Lozano he thought he could control his drug usage for a long time but that he … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:02:16 -0500 <![CDATA[ Guardrail on Taft Street set ]]> Lead story image

MERRILLVILLE — The Indiana Department of Transportation will install a guardrail to prevent motorists from landing in a ditch off Taft Street that town officials have deemed dangerous. INDOT spokesman Matt Deitchley said agency representatives have discussed with town officials the installation of a guardrail on the west side of Taft Street, just south of the Dairy Queen at 73rd Street. He said the talks will continue this week. “The guardrail will be installed, but we’re going to discuss the final details on when and how with the town,” Deitchley said. Councilman Shawn Pettit, D-6th, has expressed concern for the … ]]> Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:01:32 -0500