Tag Archives: the Gazette

Coroner Identifies 24 Y.O. Trammel Harper, Gary Homicide Victim

28 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

by Ken Davidson

The office of Lake County Coroner Merrilee Frey has confirmed that the victim in a December 27 homicide as 24 year old Trammel Harper of Gary.  The report states that coroner investigators were called to the 2200 block of Georgia Street at 9:40 pm.  The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

At approximately 9:00 p.m. the Gazette began receiving reports of a homicide in the 2100 block of Georgia Street in Gary. Gary police were reportedly searching for a suspect in a late model grand prix.  King Carter was the first to report this incident. Others have subsequently verified it, including family members of the victim.

King Carter has since reported that the driver of the Grand Prix was apprehended.  We have not received confirmation of that from the Gary Police Department at this time.

 

Female Robbed at Gunpoint Outside Village Discount in Hessville

28 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

by Ken Davidson

The Gazette has confirmed that a female was robbed at gunpoint outside the Village Discount Store in Hessville on December 26. A necklace and cash was taken in the robbery. The suspect was described as a black male wearing a hoodie. A handgun was used in the incident and the suspect fled on foot.

The Gazette received this report in conjunction with today’s very similar robbery at the same location. It was reported by Hammond Police on crimereports.com today:

Robbery 12/26/2013 07:20 PM 2700 Block 165TH ST 201300085645 Robbery

Hammond Police Department

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Faulty Equipment Hampers Fire Department in Gary

27 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

The Gazette has received several reports of the Gary Fire Department and faulty equipment. Just a few days ago, there was a report of a fire truck breaking down on the way to a fire. Now we have obtained a video taken in September 2013, which purports to show the problems with equipment that Gary firefighters face on a daily basis.

We would love to hear your comments:

Breaking 26 Y.O. Gary Man Dies After Being Shot

27 Dec interstate 80 94 accident

by Ken Davidson

Gary, Indiana saw another homicide tonight. At approximately 9:00 p.m. the Gazette began receiving reports of a homicide in the 2100 block of Georgia Street in Gary. Gary police were reportedly searching for a suspect in a late model grand prix. The Gazette is awaiting official confirmation from the office of the lake county coroner but feel confident enough to report this homicide at this time. King Carter was the first to report this incident. Others have subsequently verified it, including family members of the victim.

City Begins Demolishing 8th and Washington Hotel After Fire

21 Dec

by Ken Davidson

The City of Gary began the process of demolishing and cleaning up at the site of a December 5, 2013 fire at 8th and Washington Streets. Crews from Actin, Inc. of East Chicago were on hand with heavy equipment on Friday. A barricade fence was placed around the demololition area to prevent the public from entering the site. The fire, and now demolition project, sit directly across the street from the newly build 21st Century Charter School.

The Gazette previously reported on abandoned and falling down city and county owned buildings near schools. The buildings in this block were included in that article which can be viewed here. There are still no announced plans to barricade, repair or demolish the other unsafe structures on the block.

8th and washington hotel

Crews work to demolish a fire damaged hotel at 8th and Washington in Gary on Friday.

hotel fire gary indiana

Actin, Inc. of East Chicago begins demolition

City of Gary Says Sheraton Project is Neighborhood Stabilization

19 Dec

by Ken Davidson

At last night’s meeting of the Gary Redevelopment Commission, the Board approved a contract for environmental monitoring of the Sheraton Hotel project. The contract was awarded to Shrewsberry and Associates, LLC of Indianapolis. Shrewsberry and Associates has strong ties to State democrats, including former Chairman of the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee William Crawford. Crawford came under fire for not disclosing his financial interests with the Firm when he was appointed to Ways and Means. Shrewsberry no longer lists its Board of Directors on its website or in public filings that are readily available.

The original Request for Proposals for the demolition called for the contractor to include asbestos remediation and monitoring within the proposal. This additional cost was calculated into the bids submitted by others who were not aware that the Board would later hire another firm and pay that firm separately.

All of this is not unusual for Gary. Although the above is questionable, at best, the Gazette receives reports of such irregularities on a semi-consistent basis. What makes this proposal astounding is how the City apparently plans to pay for the additional cost. The Gazette has learned that the City has included the Sheraton Property in the 2014 Neighborhood Stabilization Plan.

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) was established by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the purpose of stabilizing communities that have suffered from foreclosures and abandonment. Through the purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed, abandoned and short-sale homes, the program’s goals is being realized.

The grant information provided by the City appears to reference this purpose:

[NSP] appropriates $2,717,859 for the purpose of assisting in the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes.The grant program is commonly referred to as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

The Times of Northwest Indiana Legal Notice 12-19-2013

The Notice goes on, however, to list the “neighborhood surrounding the old Sheraton Hotel and its adjoining garage located at 465 Broadway” as an area of additional need. The Sheraton is not only a commercial property, it lies in the major commercial zone of the City. Sitting between City Hall and a Township owned office building, the structure is blocks from any residential structure. The neighborhoods that SHOULD receive relief under the program will not receive the funding intended for them. In fact, it seems likely that Gary will end up repaying another very large grant to the Federal Government.

With 10,000 abandoned homes, one would think that every cent of the NSP funds would go toward rehabilitation of residences.

Schererville Daytime Burglary Results in Two Arrests

13 Dec

by Ken Davidson

Schererville police have confirmed that there was a burglary at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday in the 500 block of Gard Lane.  Police reported that they were called to the scene and found footprints in the snow.  The footprints were tracked to Govert Drive where the two suspects were found.  One fled on foot and was later apprehended in the 700 block of New Castle Drive.   A 16 year old juvenile and an 18 year old adult were arrested and transported to the Lake County Jail.  Charges are pending.

A citizen has reported to the Gazette that the door to the home was kicked in which resulted in the burglary call.  The Gazette is attempting to verify this report but has been unable to do so thus far.  We will update this article as information becomes available.

Gary Airport Authority Fails to Comply with Davis-Bacon; Other Legal Requirements

21 Nov

by Ken Davidson

The Indiana State Board of Accounts has issued a comprehensive report indicating that the Gary Chicago Airport Authority (GCIA) failed to comply with the Davis-Bacon Act which requires prevailing wages be paid on public works projects. The stunning finding was just one of many findings by the Board. In so finding the Board stated:

Davis-Bacon Act

Airport Management relies upon paid consultants to ensure compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act
(payment of prevailing wages).

1. The contractors submitted payment applications to the Project Engineers. Before the Project
Engineers approved the payment, the Project Engineers must receive the certified weekly
payrolls from the Contractor. The Project Engineers stated that they ensured the wages paid
equal or exceed the applicable prevailing wage rates. However, no indication was made on
the copies of the certified payrolls or other forms of documentation maintained as evidence
that such reviews were conducted.

2. A system of controls to ensure all certified payrolls were received did not exist.

3. The management of the Airport Authority did not receive any correspondence from the paid
consultants to ensure compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act.

Additionally, the Board pointed out that the GCIA was required to repay nearly $10 million to the Regional Development Authority because it failed to properly account for the money. It appears that this finding may result in an additional $10 million in Federal and State grants requiring repayment. The Board found that the Authority billed invoices to the RDA, the US Department of Transportation and the Indiana Department of Transportation and received reimbursement from each. The system was supposed to provide a total of $9,917,559.93. Instead the GCIA received that amount from both Federal and RDA coffers.

The Board also found that the GCIA awarded change orders totalling over 20% of the bid price. The law states that change orders cannot exceed 20% of the total bid price.

The report goes on and on, reporting a litany of violations. This report covers the time period before the current board took over. You will recall that the Gazette has reported that Nathaniel Williams was President of the GCIA Board at this time. Nathaniel Williams was also in charge of maintaining the records at the Gary Housing Authority when they lost hundreds of properties to tax sale, failed to make repairs with grants that had been awarded and failed to utilize insurance proceeds to repair burned out properties. Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson appointed Williams to the Airport position after many of the issues at GHA were discovered.

Texas Town Evacuated Due to Gas Explosion

14 Nov

by Ken Davidson

 

The Gazette has just received breaking news of a major gas line explosion in Millford,Texas.  The entire town has been ordered evacuated.  The Gazette is obtaining more information and will update this report shortly.

Eagle 1, Schererville Police Team to Find Local Man

11 Nov

by Ken Davidson

 

The Gazette received several reports from readers about Eagle 1 flying over schererville yesterday.  The Gazette has now confirmed that this situation did not involve commission of a crime.  The police department had received a credible report that an individual might harm himself and responded. The manhunt was in response to that situation.

While we do not wish to report on this story in particular, the topic of suicide and depression is a serious issue.  We thank the Schererville Police and the office of Lake County Sheriff John Buncich for acting decisively and appropriately in this situation.  Our prayers go out to this individual and anyone who is suffering from depression.  If you feel that someone you know is in imminent danger from a mental health issue, please call 9-1-1.

Regional Mental Health also has a hotline for less imminent emergency situations.  That number is 219.769.4005.  You can get more information on how to get help for yourself or a loved one on the at Regional Mental Health website.