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NIPSCO Reports Munster, Portage, Chesterton, Valparaiso Have Most Power Outages

17 Nov

by Ken Davidson

NIPSCO is reporting that nearly 50,000 homes are still without power throughout the region. Scattered outages are reported throughout NIPSCO service areas but the highest numbers of outages are in Munster, Portage, Chesterton and Valparaiso. Valparaiso has the most outages at over 7500, followed by Portage with nearly 5,000 homes in the dark. NIPSCO crews are working feverishly to restore power to all homes. NIPSCO warns customers to watch for downed power lines and to never touch a downed power line.

You may view the status of your service, or that of a friend or loved one, by clicking here:

http://www.nipscooutages.com/WSSNisourceOutageMap/outagemap.html?action=city&reloaded=true

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Appraiser Joe Wszolek Honored by Porter County Republicans

7 Nov

by Ken Davidson

Government runs efficiently when it has people who go above and beyond in serving their communities. Joe Wszolek, “Appraiser Joe”, is one of those people. Wednesday night he was honored for that service by the Porter County Republican Party. Appraiser Joe was presented the Highlands Award by Portage Mayor Jim Snyder. Congratulations Appraiser Joe!

Joe Wzolek receives Highlands Award

Appraiser Joe Wzolek holds the Highlands Award he received from the Porter County Republican Party.


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Porter County Trick or Treat 5:30-7:30 pm, Oct. 31

28 Oct

Gazette Staff

 

Trick or treat times in most Porter County communities will be from 5:30-730 pm on October 31, 2013.   The towns of Kouts, LaCrosse and Wanatah will have trick or treating from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.  The Gazette was unable to contact officials from the Town of Pines for verification of times.  If anyone has verified information on Pines, Indiana, please feel free to post it in the comments.

Thank you.

The Indiana State Police would like to remind parents of a few safety tips to observe during the Halloween holiday. Parents and children will be out in full force next week trick-or-treating and the Indiana State Police would like to remind parents that observing just a few rules will help can make the evening both fun and safe.
Costume Tips-
•Keep costumes short to prevent trips and falls.
•Try make-up instead of a mask. Masks often obstruct a child’s vision, which makes tasks like crossing the street and going up and down stairs dangerous.
•Make sure children wear light colors or put reflective tape on their costumes.Trick or Treating-
•Make sure older children trick-or-treat with friends. Together, map out a safe route so parents know where they will be.
•Instruct children to stop only at familiar homes where the outside lights are on.
•Encourage children to trick-or-treat while it’s still light out. If children are out after dark, make sure they have flashlights and travel on well lighted streets.
•Remind children not to enter the homes or cars of strangers.
•Follow your communities trick-or-treating hours.

Treats-
•Remind children not to eat any of their treats until they get home.
•Check out all treats at home in a well-lighted place.
•Only eat unopened candies and other treats that are in original wrappers. Remember to inspect fruits

Additionally, many communities, schools and churches offer children safe alternatives to trick-or-treating designed to keep children safely within parents’ view. Some hospitals and schools allow children to trick-or-treat by going from room to room virtually eliminating the dangers associated with being out walking on the street after dark.

Cell Phone Thefts May Not Be About Phones

21 Oct

by Ken Davidson

It appears that organized rings of criminals are perpetrating armed robberies for cell phones in northwest Indiana. First, we had the 5 Hessville armed robberies which appear to be gang related. At that time, Chief Brian Miller suggested there were similar robberies in East Chicago and Merrillville. Now an armed robbery in Schererville and reports of one in Dyer are causing great concern. According to a report issues by computer security giant Symantec, up to 50% of smart phones are lost or stolen in some major cities. The number is rising rapidly. The real question is why are these thefts on the rise and the answer may be personal information.

While there is a tremendous danger involved in the vicious armed robberies, the thefts may not be about the phones at all. Symantec reports that users are storing more data on their portable devices and are protecting it less. Bank accounts, credit cards, addresses and passwords and other personal information call all be retrieved by the savvy criminal after stealing a cell phone.

“If this was a test, mobile consumers would be failing,” said Marian Merritt, Internet Safety Advocate, Symantec. “While consumers are protecting their computers, there is a general lack of awareness to safeguard their smartphones and tablets. It’s as if they have alarm systems for their homes, but they’re leaving their cars unlocked with the windows wide open.”

Those perpetrating the robberies may not be computer geniuses but a nationwide spike in thefts of electronic devices indicates that there is a thriving market for stolen devices. You can bet the street gangs have gotten into this lucrative market and are selling phones internationally.

Experts advise using security software such as Symantec’s Norton Mobile Security 3.0 The Software allows you to erase your data remotely if your portable device is lost or stolen.

Symantec also suggests additional security tips for a smartphone or tablet:

General Security Principles for PDAs and Smartphones
• PDAs and Smartphones must be password protected, preferably with a strong password (eight digits,
alpha-numeric)
• Devices must not be left unattended (while charging, for instance) – unless secured in a locked device or
room, or with an appropriate alarm6
• The wireless port on PDAs and smartphones must be disabled (to prevent transmission of confidential
data to unauthorized individuals)
• Appropriate anti-malware software must be installed and kept up to date
• Device operating systems must have the latest patches installed (which means keeping in touch with
your supplier’s Web site(s), as automatic updating is not yet a big feature of PDA and smartphone
operating system support)
• Any confidential (including corporate) information stored on a device must be encrypted, perhaps stored
in an encrypted database
• Back up regularly – by synchronizing the device with a linked computer

Police to Serve for Special Olympics at Red Robin Sat. 10/12

12 Oct

Gazette Staff

 

 

To Serve and Protect will take on a new meaning Saturday as local police officers serve burgers and more in local Red Robin restaurants.  The officers will donate all tips to help Special Olympics as a part of the Law Enforcement Torch Run Campaign.  Red Robin locations in Schererville, Merrillville, Valparaiso and Mishawaka will be participating in the event.  The event runs from 11 am to 3 pm and 4 pm to 8 pm this Saturday October 12.

Michael Teem, executive director, Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics stated “Our annual Red Robin Tip-A-Cop events are always a good time for a great cause,  the tremendous level of law enforcement and community support, and the unparalleled generosity from Red Robin and Coca-Cola, are what will make this event so successful this year. The money raised will be used to support both Special Olympics events and the mission of inclusion and acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities.  Throughout the United States, such funding will support year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports.”

Tip-A-Cop is part of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run® (LETR) campaign in support of Special Olympics. LETR, which includes an international series of relay runs and special events like Tip-A-Cop, is supported by more than 100,000 law enforcement officers worldwide who help raise money and public awareness for Special Olympics. As the largest grassroots fundraiser and public awareness vehicle for Special Olympics, LETR funds raised go directly to local programs in states or countries where the funds are generated.

For more information about the Tip-A-Cop events and to see a list of participating restaurants, please visit www.redrobin.com/specialolympics.