Post-Tribune Latest news from Post-Tribune Online en-us (Editor) Post-Tribune 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ There’s no couching it: Spirit of giving is alive and well ]]> Lead story image

Wouldn’t you love to get a phone call and have the person at the other end say, “I have a check for you for $900. When would you like to pick it up?” That’s just what happened to me last Friday when Matt, a manager at Indiana Furniture, called with those wonderful words. The donation for Porter County Special Olympics is from their recent furniture tent sale, when all customers could save some big bucks on quality furniture and then the staff gives away the big bucks from those sales. When two of our athletes from nationals — Nick Havrilla … ]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 02:04:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ A moving experience: Train station gets new home ]]> Lead story image

Down by the station, early in the morning ... the whole station was being moved! It was amazing and almost unbelievable to see how the brains of the operation knew exactly what to do to keep the Grand Trunk Railroad station in one piece to move it to the Porter County Career and Technical Center, its permanent new home. It was a slow process, moving tiny steps at a time, but it worked. It actually became a community project, with volunteer engineer John Blosky coordinating the whole move with everyone involved, including the Canadian National Railway, NIPSCO, businesses along the … ]]> Thu, 10 Jul 2014 02:04:34 -0500 <![CDATA[ More help on the way for those battling addiction ]]> Lead story image

For those who might be aware of someone in need of help for drug or alcohol addiction: There soon will be a new place in town to offer help. Recovery Connection will begin the SMART program for men and women age 18 and over who are ready for help to leave their addiction behind. SMART is the acronym for Self Management and Recovery Training, a volunteer-driven organization whose main purpose is to support those eager to abstain from their addictive behaviors. Each person will be taught how to change self-defeating actions, as they work toward long-term quality of life by … ]]> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 02:04:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ Carrol Vertrees was one of a kind ]]> Lead story image

I wasn’t in town when Carrol Vertrees left this Earth for Heaven, and just recently learned that he had died. I missed seeing his delightful columns in the Post-Tribune, and now I know why. It will be a very long time before another journalist with his expertise for bringing his readers into a past lifestyle is found. Every one of his columns brought out nostalgia or resulted in some pretty deep thinking. I had the pleasure of having lunch with him and his “bride” last year, thanks to Jerry Hager, and was amazed at his memory and knowledge. His column … ]]> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 02:04:23 -0500 <![CDATA[ These travelers are beautiful sights themselves ]]> Lead story image

There have been some hurry-up-and-wait moments, some walks that seem like a mile to the buses, and melting in the sweltering sun. But it is the greatest trip. Our Special Olympics team arrived Saturday in New Jersey for the nationals, along with those from 49 other states. The cheers and high-fives began the moment we stepped off the plane and continue every day for every athlete. With more than 100 plush buses taking a contingent of 3,500 athletes, plus coaches and chaperones, to the Prudential Center with a bevy of state police cars paving the way, our athletes felt like … ]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:11:21 -0500 <![CDATA[ Special Olympians move on to national stage ]]> Lead story image

Ready, set, go! That’s what 19 athletes and coaches from Porter County will be doing Saturday as they pack up and leave for the National Special Olympics at Princeton University in New Jersey. It’s been practice, practice, practice, along with training camps and lots of information, and now the time has come. Our athletes and coaches are ready to show off their abilities in swimming, track, bowling, golf and flag football and be the best they can be. Whether or not they win medals, they are all winners for having been chosen by our state staff to represent Indiana at … ]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 16:59:35 -0500 <![CDATA[ Valuable volunteers all worthy of recognition ]]> Lead story image

There is no doubt that if it were not for volunteers, many — probably most — places or agencies who serve others would not be able to offer the programs and assistance that they do. Think of those needing help: the disabled, nursing home residents, families in need, people with drug or alcohol problems, children, the homeless, and the list goes on and on. Oftentimes, the volunteer base far outnumbers paid staff members. That was the main reason the Valparaiso Noon Kiwanis Club chose in 2002 to begin accepting nominations from groups to recognize volunteers who go above and beyond … ]]> Sun, 06 Jul 2014 09:47:40 -0500 <![CDATA[ Student concert helps chip away at poverty ]]> Lead story image

I’ve got an acronym in mind today — ASAP. This time, it’s not for “as soon as possible” nor “always say a prayer.” (Although that’s a good one.) It is for Alliance of Students Against Poverty. This small group of committed students formed several years ago when Peter Fink, a 2013 Valparaiso High School graduate and now a student at Notre Dame, wanted to do something to help others in need in our community. With several other interested students ready and willing to join him in this new endeavor, ASAP, was born. Their first fundraiser, a concert featuring student talent, … ]]> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 12:29:58 -0500 <![CDATA[ Prom for Special Olympians hits all the highest notes ]]> Lead story image

What a phenomenal evening of entertainment — not just for the young ladies decked out in their gorgeous dresses, or the handsome young men who were almost unrecognizable all spiffed up, but for all of us who were there to serve dinner and nonalcoholic drinks as well. The Porter County Special Olympics prom — hosted by Special Sports Boosters (consisting mostly of parents), who surprised all of the attendees by having professional impersonators and singers Quentin Flagg and Billy Downing as the disc jockeys — was a blast. It was an evening of nonstop dancing, singing and even a performance … ]]> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:16:17 -0500 <![CDATA[ A special day, a special woman, and dunes to climb ]]> Lead story image

It was the type of day that seemed to be heaven-sent. Last Saturday, the track, pool, softball field and fieldhouse at Valparaiso High School were filled with determined athletes, and cheering coaches and parents excited about their athletes’ performances. The Area 1 Special Olympics Spring Games were in full swing, with participants from ages 8 to over 60 taking part in swim races, track and field events, bocce and volleyball. Almost 400 athletes from seven counties were smiled upon by Mother Nature (with a note from God) with an absolutely perfect day for perfect athletes. Add to that the yummy, … ]]> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:42:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Clean up your world, out of this world and World War II ]]> Lead story image

Put a big circle around May 17 on your calendar, please, so you remember to take all your “junk” that’s been collecting in your garage, yard and even your house all winter to the Porter County Expo Center at 215 E. Division Road (just off Indiana 49 south). Drive down to Gate 3 for your “One Stop Drop” anytime between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is giving us the chance to rid ourselves of all of the accumulated stuff, including old tires, appliances, electronic items, old videos, DVDs, oil, batteries, bulbs, … ]]> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:24:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ A salute to some special stellar students ]]> Lead story image

When 10 percent of a graduating high school class earns academic rings for their outstanding achievements, it tells a lot about the school, and even more about the students. Fifty-one members of Chesterton High School’s 2014 class have earned that honor. It is no easy feat, and speaks highly of the academic commitment of these young people. The criteria for this outstanding award includes making the honor roll every semester, all grades above a B, a minimum grade-point average of 3.8 (on a 4.0 scale) every semester, and even co-curricular participation each year. These seniors don’t stop with good grades … ]]> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 12:50:31 -0500 <![CDATA[ A simple stroll can help hospice patients ]]> Lead story image

I guarantee you will never see me running a marathon or even a 5K race. I’d rather just be cheering. But a stroll? Now that’s something almost all of us could be part of, and that is just what the Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County is inviting us to. The 2014 Stroll for Hospice will be the group’s 13th annual stroll. Central Park Plaza in downtown Valparaiso will be the starting point for the 2.2-mile leisurely walk on May 4. Registration begins at noon, and the stroll at 1 p.m. But that’s not all. After you return to he … ]]> Sun, 25 May 2014 15:32:54 -0500 <![CDATA[ Run for a mom fighting cancer for third time ]]> Lead story image

Some things in life we like to have happen over and over again. But cancer?? If you talk to anyone who has ever been diagnosed and treated for any kind of cancer, 100 percent of them would say, “Once is enough,” and not one would want to have it over and over again. Lidia Sibakoski, a Portage mom of four children, whose husband died in 2009, was diagnosed with Stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer in 2012 and went through the hardship of chemotherapy and radiation plus a mastectomy. That should be enough burden for anyone. But Lidia has not been … ]]> Mon, 19 May 2014 13:44:03 -0500 <![CDATA[ Air Force groups hit high notes at Valparaiso ]]> Lead story image

There are not enough accolades to describe the U.S. Air Force band, choir and Singing Sergeants’ performances Monday evening at the Valparaiso University Chapel, which was an ideal setting, surrounding everyone there with music, music, music. Whether it was the blending choir voices, the Singing Sergeants harmonizing or the concert band filling every corner of the chapel with resounding melodies, it rated an A-plus. Along with the superb musical talent, the concert was a message in inspiring pride and patriotism. Just seeing all the young men and women resplendent in their uniforms, and looking oh, so proud, brought a great … ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 15:39:18 -0500 <![CDATA[ Add your piece to the autism-fighting puzzle ]]> Lead story image

I get really frustrated when I’m trying to put together a puzzle and can’t find the piece that fits. That is just exactly how researchers, doctors and parents feel about autism. What is the cause? Will there ever be a cure? Why has it become so prevalent in children? How can we cope? So many questions to this developmental disorder puzzle, autism spectrum, which affects 1 in every 68 children born in our society today. That number jumped from 1 in 88 just two years ago. There are as many diverse conditions of autism as there are pieces in a … ]]> Mon, 05 May 2014 07:55:36 -0500 <![CDATA[ It’s finally time to give spring the runaround ]]> Lead story image

Did you register yet for the Valparaiso Family YMCA’s Ringing in Spring run? Maybe that will help bring spring to our area soon. Give Jodi Jackson a call at (219) 462-4185 if you’d like to volunteer to cheer on the thousands of runners who begin their season with this April 5 event celebrating its 20th year. (And maybe you’ll be given a volunteer job.) Then, the following week, all you runners can join the Spring Has Sprung 5K Run and one-mile kids run April 12 at Immanuel Lutheran School, 1700 Monticello Park Drive in Valparaiso. If you register by April … ]]> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 10:10:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ Think spring by prepping for YMCA’s annual 5K ]]> Lead story image

It’s got to get warmer sometime, doesn’t it? Surely the cold and snow will be gone by April. The Valpo YMCA is counting on it — it’s their 20th year of hosting the largest springtime run/walk in Northwest Indiana, and probably the earliest, as well. April 5 is the date to circle on your calendar to get those legs going. The race will offer 5k and 10k runs and a 5k walk. All registration will be online only by going to Registration is $22, and includes a runner’s shirt as well as other perks. Teams and families will enjoy … ]]> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:05:40 -0500