Chesterton Tribune



Sunday booze sales coming to Indiana after Legislature OK

Back To Front Page



Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana’s decades old ban on selling carryout alcohol on Sundays will soon be history after the Legislature signed off on a bill to repeal the Prohibition-era law.

The Senate voted 38-10 on Thursday to send the legislation to Gov. Eric Holcomb, who said he “won’t let too many Sundays pass” before signing it into law.

“There’s a pen on my desk,” the Republican said hours before the vote. “When it arrives ... we will sign it.”

The measure will take effect months before initially anticipated. That’s because the bill was tweaked last week to make it effective immediately after being signed, instead of July 1. That means Indiana residents could be able to start purchasing alcohol at liquor stores, pharmacies, convenience stores and big box retailers as early as March 4.

After decades of failed attempts to rewrite the Sunday sales law, this year for the first time industry rivals who scuttled past efforts got on board. Republican Statehouse leaders also made the bill’s passage a priority.

“I think it’s symbolically important,” said Senate President Pro Tem David Long, a Fort Wayne Republican. “We are modernizing our alcohol laws in a way that I think the public supports.”

Still, the bill by Republican Sen. Ron Alting of Lafayette offers only a limited window of time to purchase alcohol on Sunday, restricting sales to between noon and 8 p.m.

Alting, who is chairman of a powerful committee that shapes alcohol laws, blamed interest groups for killing Sunday sales legislation in the past, saying it was not the fault of legislators who are elected to pass laws.

“The fact is, Sunday sales is convenient for the citizens in Indiana,” said Alting. He has collected more campaign contributions from liquor store interests than any other lawmaker this decade, an Associated Press analysis of campaign finance data found last year.

The Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers long argued that Sunday sales would let grocery stores siphon away business on a major shopping day. But they gave way this year, focusing instead on preserving another unusual alcohol law, which gives them a stranglehold on the sale of cold beer in the state.

They struck a deal with the Indiana Retail Council before the session started, agreeing to support Sunday sales in exchange for the Retail Council opposing legislation that would allow the big box stores they represent to sell cold beer.

However, the cold beer issue won’t likely go away. A big part of the reason lawmakers took up Sunday sales this year is because of a bitter fight that erupted over the matter last year.

Convenience stores have long fought for the right to sell cold beer, instead of the room temperature beer and chilled wine they can currently sell.

Last year, Jay Ricker, the owner of Ricker’s chain of convenience stores, used a creative loophole. He built kitchens in two stores and sold made-to-order burritos, which enabled him to get a restaurant license - and the ability to sell carryout cold beer.

That angered Republican legislative leaders, who took swift action in the closing days of the 2017 session to pass a law that effectively blocked Ricker from renewing a license allowing him to sell cold beer.

Public opinion not only supports the Sunday alcohol sales bill, it also favors allowing more stores to sell cold beer. Roughly 61 percent of Indiana residents think convenience and grocery stores should be able to sell cold beer, according to a recent Ball State University poll conducted by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs. That’s more than the 58 percent of those surveyed who believed carryout alcohol sales should be allowed on Sunday.

Holcomb was coy when asked about whether he would support other measures addressing outmoded alcohol laws, like the cold beer restrictions.

“There’s more work to be done,” he said, adding that he would deal with those issues next session.

When asked if Sunday sales would pave the way, Alting replied: “Time will tell what cold beer does.”


Indiana one of 5 states allowing gun seizure from dangerous owners

Attorney General Curtis Hill has released a public safety advisory to increase awareness of the state’s “Red Flag Law,” a statute enacted in 2005 allowing law enforcement officers to take possession of firearms from people they believe to be dangerous as defined in the statute.

Indiana is one of five states in the nation to have such laws.

“Like all Americans, I was sickened by the horrifying news last week out of Parkland, Florida,” Hill said. “Tragedies like this one are staining our nation. As we lift up our voices in prayer for the victims and their families, we must renew our commitment to taking concrete actions to stop gun violence in our country.”

The public safety advisory has been released to prosecutors and law enforcement officials statewide. The General Assembly enacted Indiana’s law in 2005 following the 2004 slaying of Indianapolis Police Officer Jake Laird. The shooter was a mentally ill man who had been admitted earlier that year to St. Francis Hospital for an emergency detention and had his guns confiscated by police at that time. After the man’s release from the hospital, he wanted his guns back, and at that time, police had no way to legally retain them. In August 2004, the man shot and killed his mother before randomly opening fire in a neighborhood. When police responded to the scene, the man shot and wounded five officers, including Officer Laird, before being fatally shot by police.

Under Indiana’s law, a person is considered “dangerous” if he or she presents an imminent risk of physical injury to himself or others. A person can also be considered dangerous if he or she presents a potential risk of physical injury and has either been diagnosed with a mental illness and failed to take prescribed medication, or if there is documented evidence that the person has “a propensity for violent or emotionally unstable conduct.”

“Indiana’s ‘Red Flag Law’ is a common-sense measure that in no way inhibits the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” Hill said. “This useful provision is not as well-known, even among law enforcement, as one might expect. That’s why this week we are distributing a public safety advisory raising awareness of the law and urging police and prosecutors to make full use of it as we work together to protect all Hoosiers.”


Developer of duplexes withdraws request for sidewalk waiver


A representative for a developer seeking to build four duplexes on a large lot located between Wabash Ave. and Grant Ave. has withdrawn a request for a sidewalk waiver.

But the developer’s petition for three other variances was granted by the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals at its meeting Thursday night.

Representing Southshore Development Group LLC principal Jim Metcalf at the meeting was attorney Greg Babcock, who was joined by Charlie Ray of the Duneland Group, Metcalf’s engineer on the project.

As Babcock told the board, the four duplexes would be constructed on a very large lotÑabout an acre in size and originally platted at the end of the 19th centuryÑlocated between the 600 block of Wabash Ave. and the 600 block of Grant Ave. Two of the duplexes would front Wabash and two Grant, and each would be accessed by a driveway 40 feet wide at the building and tapering to 25 feet at the street to permit occupants to turn their vehicles around so as not to have to back onto either of the roadways.

The parcel is zoned R-3 for multi-family, Babcock added, which means that the duplexes would represent a “down-zoning” from the permitted use. He also noted that the development is a desirable “in-fill” of the sort encouraged by the Chesterton Comprehensive Plan, since an old house built on the lot has been previously demolished.

Southshore Development was specifically requesting four variances:

¥A waiver from the ordinance which would require the construction of a sidewalk on Grant Ave. along the parcel’s 150-foot frontage. There is currently no sidewalk along the length of Grant Ave.

¥A waiver from the ordinance which would require the construction of curb and gutters along both Grant Ave. and Wabash Ave. There are currently no curb or gutters along either Grant or Wabash.

¥A variance to permit Southshore to construct a four-foot sidewalk in front of the duplexes on Wabash Ave., rather than the five-foot sidewalk required by ordinance. The sidewalk currently serving Wabash Ave. is an old four-foot one.

¥And a variance to increase lot coverage from the 30 percent maximum permitted by ordinance to 40 percent.

Members had no issue with the latter three variances but there was pushback on the sidewalk waiver from both Fred Owens and Kim Parrilli-Goldak, who suggested that it would set an unfortunate precedent in the event that any other property owners along Grant Ave. decided to build new residential.

In the end Ray of the Duneland Group indicated that his client would be amenable to withdrawing the request for the sidewalk waiver, and members duly voted unanimously to grant the other three variances.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition to it.

On Snead Ave.

In other business, members voted unanimously to approve four variances sought by Michael Rugby Popa, who is looking to build an addition to his home at 1531 Snead Ave. as well as a detached garage.

The variances:

¥One to reduce a side-yard setback from the minimum 20 feet to 8.31 feet, to allow the construction of the home addition.

¥One to increase lot coverage from the maximum 30 percent to 40 percent.

¥One to permit the construction of an accessory structureÑthe detached garageÑin the front plane of the home.

¥And one to reduce the side-yard setback from the minimum five feet to 1.11 feet, to allow the construction of the detached garage.

At a public hearing which preceded the vote, no one spoke in favor of the petition and no one in opposition, but Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson did read into the record a letter from the Sand Creek Homeowners Association which stated that nothing in Popa’s plans would adversely impact his neighbors.


Town of Chesterton petitions BZA for boxcar restroom variances


Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals President Richard Riley recused himself on Thursday and Associate Town Attorney Julie Paulson formallyÑalbeit temporarilyÑremoved herself as the BZA’s legal counsel, when the Town of Chesterton appeared before the board to request three variances as part of the boxcar restroom project in Thomas Centennial Park.

Riley, owner of Riley’s Railhouse at 123 N. Fourth St., has been a main driver of the boxcar project.

Paulson, for her part, told the BZA that, inasmuch as she represents both the board and the petitioner appearing before the board, she would be unable to offer impartial legal advice and needed to withdraw.

Riley left the dais, Paulson her accustomed chair at the side table, and each took a seat in the audience for the duration of the petition.

Members then voted unanimously to appoint attorney Greg BabcockÑwho had other business with the board later in the meetingÑas its legal counsel pro tempore. Babcock gladly accepted the position and Paulson’s chair.

Town Engineer Mark O’DellÑwhom the Park Board at its February meeting unanimously appointed its agent in the matterÑthen presented the petition for the three variances:

¥One to locate an accessory structureÑnamely, the boxcar restroom and the caboose warming/cooling stationÑtwo feet from a rear lot line, three feet closer than the five feet specified by the Zoning Ordinance. This variance is required because the wooden access ramp, located to the north of the boxcar/caboose, would come to within two feet of the rear lot line, O’Dell said.

¥One to locate an accessory structure 11 inches from a principal structure, namely, the old New York Central passenger depot, now the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s offices. Under the Zoning Ordinance, an accessory structure must be located at least 10 feet from a principal structure. This variance is required because the Chamber building’s roof overhang would come to within 11 inches of the rear of the caboose, O’Dell said.

¥And one to allow an accessory structure to be up to 20 feet in height, four feet taller than the 16 feet specified by the Zoning Ordinance. This variance is required because the roof which would cover the access ramp behind the boxcar/caboose could be as tall as 20 feet, O’Dell said.

Of the concept in general O’Dell said, “It’s pretty exciting, it’s a pretty cool project.” But he did emphasize that the Park Board, in appointing him its agent, is adamant that the petition for the variances be pursued with all due transparency.

Members expressed their enthusiasm for the project but only one had a question. Kim Parrilli-Goldak was interested in knowing whether the Park Board intends to match the roof of the wooden access ramp with the Chamber building’s terra cotta tiled roof.

Riley, speaking from the audience, said that matching the two roofs would be ideal but it depends on the cost of the terra cotta tiles.

The board then voted unanimously to hold a public hearing on the petition at its next meeting, Thursday, March 22.

With that business concluded, Riley re-joined the board and Paulson returned to her chair at the side table.


Services Tuesday for Grace Lucile Hardesty

Grace Lucile Zehner Straight Poffinger Hardesty, age 96 of Valparaiso, passed away on February 21, 2018, in Valparaiso.

She was born on June 28, 1921, in Chicago, IL, to Chandler and Harriet Zehner, both of whom preceded her in death.

She is survived by her children: Mary Little of Viola, WI, Thomas Straight of Wheatfield, IN; her grandchildren: Mary Ann Post, James Little of Onalaska, WI, Kimberly Straight of Phoenixville, PA, her step-daughters, Barb Sherman of Miller Beach, IN, and Ann and Larry Kast of Concord, MI, along with many great-great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

She is also preceded in death by her brother, John Zehner on September 19, 1999, and by her sister, Charloit Kowalewski.

Grace was a meticulous housekeeper. She loved working in her garden, but her greatest love was her family.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, at 10 a.m., at White-Love Funeral Home, 525 South 2nd Street, Chesterton, IN. Burial will follow at Graceland Cemetery.

The family will receive friends on Monday, February 26, 2018, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m., at White-Love Funeral Home.

Memories may be shared at:

June Rose Pfluger passes away at age 86

June Rose Pfluger, age 86 of Porter, IN, formerly of Ocala FL, passed away on February 19, 2018 in Porter, IN.

She was born on June 28, 1931 in Valparaiso, IN to Elmer and Juliet Youngren, both of whom preceded her in death.

In 1984 in Valparaiso, IN, she married Carroll (Red) Pfluger, who preceded her in death in 2016.

June is survived by her children: Linda Payton of Porter, IN, Jacquline Wood of Chesterton, IN, Elizabeth Gentry of Chesterton, IN, and Lee (Joanne) Iler of Dunnellon, FL; her grandchildren: Kimberly (Eric) Schwartz, Curtis (Julie) Bernard, Clint (Laurie) Iler, Jason (Jodi) Ier, Adam Iler, Mark (Shawna) Wood, Scott (Rebekah) Wood, Luke (Erica) Wood, Stevie Iler, Marlena Johnson, Katey Gentry, Leanne Iler, and Jessica Iler; and by her 23 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.

She is also preceded in death by her sons, Bruce Iler and Brad Iler, her son-in-law, Doyle Wood, her granddaughter, Shanna Jones, her sister, Joan Larson, and brother-in-law Jerry Larson.

June loved to paint and draw. She lived in Ocala, FL, for the last 18 years and enjoyed the warm weather. She was a kid at heart and traveled to Disney World several times each year. She loved to travel with her husband, whom she met in Alaska. She also traveled to Hawaii several times. She will be missed by everybody.

There are no services scheduled at this time.

Arrangements are under the care of White-Love Funeral Home, Chesterton, IN.

Memories may be shared at:

NIPSCO accepting applications for environmental grants

NIPSCO is now accepting applications for its environmental action grant to support local non-profit organizations with environmental initiatives

In its third year, NIPSCO’s Environmental Action Grant aims to provide funding for restoration and education projects throughout northern Indiana.

“Our Environmental Action Grant program is just one more way NIPSCO is improving the environment in which we all work and live,” said Larry Graham, executive director of public affairs and communications. “Our goal is to fund much-needed environmental projects that otherwise might not happen.”

Prior year funding recipients included environmental and community groups, schools, and other non-profit organizations. In 2017, the NIPSCO Environmental Action Grant funded 15 projects totaling $50,000. Projects included river conservation programming, watershed, pond, habitat and wetland restoration; urban forest education; native seed planting and more.

Grants are available in the amount of $500 to $5,000. Applications will be accepted through April 6, with grant awards announced the week prior to Earth Day, April 22.

Non-profit organizations with an environmental restoration or education project are invited to submit a grant request through NIPSCO’s online request portal at

When submitting an application online, please select the “Environmental Action Grant” option in the Type of Support drop-down box on the application. Creating opportunities for volunteerism is an important part of the grant, in addition to providing monetary support to the organization.

Eligible organizations must be a 501(c) 3 or other non-profit as determined by the Internal Revenue Service with an environmental project focus and have a direct impact in the NIPSCO service area.

To learn about what else you can do to help support the environment, and to see what NIPSCO is doing, visit


Ivy Tech moving Gary programs to IUN campus

GARY, Ind. (AP) - Ivy Tech Community College is shutting down its Gary campus and shifting many of its classes to a building it shares with Indiana University Northwest.

Ivy Tech officials say they are also looking to move its trades program to a career center operated by the Gary Community School Corp. Those moves will leave Gary’s Ivy Tech campus vacant when fall semester classes begin.

Ivy Tech Lake County President Louie Gonzalez tells The Post-Tribune that the school will remain alive and thriving in the city. He says the changes will help balance the campus budget, which is facing a $2 million deficit.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson says she hopes a new use is found for the Ivy Tech facility so the city isn’t left with more empty buildings.


Final day Saturday for Liberty Rec and Duneland Diamond registration

Liberty Rec Baseball, Softball, T-ball and Duneland Diamond Baseball are holding a final registration on Saturday, Feb. 24, at Liberty Intermediate School from 9:30-11:30 a.m.Ê

For more information about Liberty Rec softball, contact Rich Leady, for baseball and t-ball contact Terry Chestovich terry.chestovich@ and for Duneland Diamond contact Daniel Amling Ê

On-line registration is also available at www.libertyrecbaberuth.


Save the Tunes to play to benefit Izaak Walton League

For nearly 30 years the “Save the Tunes” musical group has been entertaining local audiences with songs and stories from our regional history.

And the group has long advocated the preservation of wild spaces in the Dunes.

From 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, Save the Tunes will be performing at Bartlett’s Fish CampÑ12 on the Lake, formerly the Michigan City Yacht ClubÑduring a “Bartlett’s Gives Back” event that benefits the Izaak Walton League-Porter County Chapter.

“Izaak Walton PCC has always done similar work as the National Lakeshore in taking steps to conserve land and they offer education of the same in northwest Indiana,” said long time Tunes member, Marti Pizzini. “We’ll be playing heritage songs of the sea; a cultural experience with historical content while being entertaining at the same time.”

PCC President Gary Brown said, “This is the first time Save the Tunes will be playing outside the National Lakeshore. It is a rare treat! And Bartlett’s is right up the road from our Frame Family Little Calumet Conservation Area which is on the Porter County side of County Line Road. It is one of four properties in the county that we’ve been working to preserve for future generations. We just finished a wetland restoration there and are looking forward to welcoming visitors this spring.”

Bartlett’s will donate a percentage of diners’ food bill when they mention Izaak Walton during business hours on Feb. 27. This event helps the chapter raise funds for its conservation work and youth education in NW Indiana.

Porter County families will recognize this Ikes group for its Family Nature Night presentations in local schools and annual presence in the TSC Barnyard tent at the Porter County Fair. The Gives Back event at Fish Camp is open to the public and is family-friendly.

See or Facebook @PCCIWLA for more information about the chapter.




Search This Site:

Custom Search