in 2016. They grieved. Anger, dismay, joy, sorrow: emotions ran high in the
community this year, and sometimes very low.
Dunes Action rang
in the New Year in the reasonable belief that Pavilion Partners’ plans for a
restaurant and banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park had foundered the
previous fall on the rocks of the IATC’s unanimous rejection of the LLC’s
application for a three-way permit. Then, early in January, two different
bills were introduced by Republican lawmakers, both of them requiring the
IATC to issue permits--one to the DNR on behalf of its state parks, the
other to retailers engaged in “economic development”--without local ABC
oversight or investigation.
outraged, promptly and loudly cried foul, blasted the pols for working to
circumvent a community’s will and prerogative, and suggested that Pavilion
Partners principal Chuck Williams’ embeddedness in the Indiana GOP may have
smoothed the way for attempted end-runs. When the House Public Policy
Committee held a hearing on the economic development bill, a group of Dunes
Actioners made the long drive to Indy to remonstrate. Committee members were
unimpressed and voted unanimously to send the bill to the floor,
after--curiously--amending it, by emptying it of its original language and
inserting in its place the text of the DNR bill.
ultimately passed the House and the Senate and 10,000 signatures on a Dunes
Action-circulated petition failed to persuade Gov. Pence to veto it.
Dunes Action had
one last chance this year to voice its opposition to alcohol service at the
beach: at a public hearing in November before the Natural Resources
Commission at Portage’s Woodland Park, specifically on a proposed rule
change--prompted by the new law--which would shift the responsibility for
obtaining a three-way from private concessionaires to the DNR itself.
The nearly 200
remonstrators were galled enough as the hearing began. They became
positively livid when told, by an NRC rep, that they were objecting to the
wrong thing: alcohol service at Dunes State Park had already been legalized,
by a bill passed in 2015. The only relevant issue, she said, was the
proposed rule change, and any principled argument against alcohol service
per se would fall on deaf ears.
By the middle of
summer Dunelanders found themselves living--and, more to the point,
driving--in a three-sided box: Ind. 49 had been reduced to one lane in each
direction for re-paving, the Indiana Toll Road was similarly a stop-and-go
nightmare of lane restrictions, and INDOT had begun an ambitious re-pave,
from state line to state line, of I-94.
began taking the scenic route everywhere, winding their way along the back
roads of Liberty and Jackson just to get to Valparaiso or the grocery, while
Meridian Road became the new bypass. Folks who decided to brave Ind. 49
anyway found themselves in a maddening gridlock and at the mercy of irate,
distracted drivers who thought it a fine idea to while away their time in
traffic on their smartphones.
The CPD responded
to scores of rear-end chain-reaction crashes, a few of them spectacular but
none, mercifully, fatal.
employed at ArcelorMittal had good reason to be irked on Jan. 1. Four months
to the day earlier their old contract had expired and negotiations long
since stalled. They’d have to wait nearly five more months for a new
tentative agreement to be reached.
non-represented workforce, on the other hand, had reason to be fearful in
the New Year. In April USS confirmed it was slashing management by 25
percent, in response to market conditions and as part of the long-term
belt-tightening strategy dubbed The Carnegie Way.
Teachers Association was also involved in a contentious contract dispute
this year, following the expiration of its previous seven-year agreement on
July 31. Veteran teachers--who the DTA said had received neither raises nor
cost-of-living increases since 2009--were especially aggrieved by what some
took to be an unexpected intransigence on the administration’s part. Then,
like smoke in the wind, the tension was gone, when a new tentative contract
was reached and promptly ratified in the last week of September.
The DTA and the
administration were still negotiating, however, when both parties took
umbrage at the proposed South Shore Classical Academy’s application for a
charter school in Porter County. Teachers and administrators alike jammed
the Library Service Center for a public hearing, where they clamored to
express their indignation and resentment at the perceived slight to the
Duneland Difference. Two days later, the South Shore Classical Academy’s
organizers withdrew their application.
Yet, too, there
were as many occasions for celebration as for rancor this year. CHS, as
always, gave folks something to smile about, as its athletes, scholars, and
musicians continued the tradition of outstanding performances and honorable
finishes in state and national competition.
Putting Duneland on
the Map in a really big way was former CHS swimmer Blake Pieroni, who set
three personal bests in the 100 free to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Team,
then glommed a Gold in the 4x100 free at the Rio Games. The community got a
chance to pat its Favorite Son on the back when Pieroni was named Grand
Marshall of the CHS Homecoming Parade in September.
Duneland’s volunteerism and generosity was the success of the capital
campaign which is funding the cutting-edge addition to the Duneland Unit of
the Boys and Girls Club: ground broke in the spring and by year’s end the
building had taken shape nicely.
And there was
Elizabeth Scott, 38, of Porter, died after being struck by a vehicle while
running along a country road in Jackson Township. She taught at the Field
Station Cooperative School and coached the Discovery Charter School’s run
In March, educator
and legislator Ralph Ayres, 67, passed unexpectedly.
In June, Cadet
Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21--U.S. Army, CHS Class of 2014--died in a
training accident in Fort Hood, Texas, after completing his second year at
the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
In September, Roy
Flaherty, long-time Park Board member and friend of the Chesterton Parks,
passed at 64.
In November, Jo
Anne Winey-Babcock, a past member of the Chamber of Commerce and Duneland
YMCA boards and a dedicated community booster, passed at 64.
Rest in peace and
The Porter County
Council appoints Democrat Gregg Simms of Valparaiso, former 10th District
state representative, to replace Rudy Sutton on the Alcoholic Beverage
Commission, after Sutton opted not to seek re-appointment. The Porter County
Commissioners bounce Ralph Levi from the ABC, replacing him with swimming
pool installer Jason Gilliana of Valparaiso; Levi was part of the majority
which voted to deny Pavilion Partners LLC a three-way permit for a Pavilion
restaurant and proposed banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park.
Emerson DeLaney is
elected president of the Chesterton Town Council; Ray Poparad president of
the Burns Harbor Town Council; and Greg Stinson president of the Porter Town
Council. The Indiana Department of Education (DOE) releases the 2015 ISTEP
scores; new standards lead to declines in the Duneland Schools: overall 64.8
percent of students passed in both English and math, compared to 82.1
percent in 2014; statewide, 53.5 percent passed, compared to 74.7 in 2014.
State Rep. James
Merritt, R-31st--representing portions of Hamilton and Marion
counties--introduces SB188, which would force the Indiana Alcohol and
Tobacco Commission (IATC) to grant three-way permits to the Department of
Natural Resources on behalf of state parks without local ABC oversight or
investigation; Merritt says that the thrust of the bill is to make “state
parks more competitive with their competition”; Dunes Action calls it “an
attempt to circumvent the normal permitting process.”
Frederick D. Fegely,
67, is charged with murder and arson in connection with the fire which
killed his mother in her Ogden Dunes home in April 2015. Ann O’Heir is named
president and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association. Porter County Assessor
Jon Snyder says that Pavilion Partners principal Chuck Williams filed a
written request in August 2015 to appeal the property-tax assessments of
several parcels on the former Johnson Inn property at Porter Beach, owned by
Johnson Inn Inc. and Carl Dahlin Jr.
State Reps. Sean
Eberhart, R-57th, and Tom Dermody, R-20th, introduce HB1247, which would
exempt from local ABC proceedings any application for a retailer’s permit
“issued for economic development reasons”; the bill would also preclude IATC
from denying a permit in a residential district on the ground that it “would
unreasonably impair the enjoyment of residents”; Dunes Action blasts the
bill on the ground that it would curb local control of alcohol permits.
The Porter County
Park Board sets its priorities for 2016: the Sunset Hill Farm education
center and Aukiki Park. The Burns Harbor Town Council votes 4-1 to abandon
town caucuses and move to primary elections. The Indiana Department of Local
Government Finance issues Porter County’s budget order: all taxing districts
in Duneland will see lower tax rates in 2016. The United Steelworkers (USW)
reports that contract talks with ArcelorMittal got off to a rocky start in
the New Year, after resuming from the holiday break.
Report: the Senate
Public Policy Committee will not hear State Sen. James Merritt’s
SB188--which would require IATC to issue three-way permits to the DNR--yet
the bill has not been withdrawn and its status is unclear. U.S. Rep. Pete
Visclosky, D-1st, at annual town forum in Chesterton, says that the National
Park Service has no legal standing to intervene in the Pavilion Partners’
lease with DNR.
School Congressional debaters Megan Daye and Paul Petro, in competition at
Concord HS, qualify for the National Tournament of Speech and Debate in Salt
Lake City, Utah, in June. Boy Scouts Fred Owens and Collin St. Mary of Troop
908 earn the rank of Eagle Scout. The Indiana Department of Transportation
announces plans to add east- and westbound left-turn lanes at the
intersection of U.S. Highway 20 and Waverly Road in Porter.
The Indiana Office
of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) recommends a substantial reduction in
the electric rate hike sought by the Northern Indiana Public Service Company
(NIPSCO); the latter is seeking $126.6 million in additional annual
operating revenues, while the OUCC recommends instead an increase of only
$15.6 million. Elizabeth Scott, 38, of Porter, dies after being struck by a
vehicle while jogging on C.R. 1200N in Jackson Township; Scott taught at the
Field Station Cooperative Pre-school and coached the Run Club at Discovery
CHS senior band
students Fred Owens and Joel Peterson perform in the 2016 Indiana Music
Educators Association Honor Concert. CHS debaters Tim Vincent, Joel
Peterson, Nathan Poczekay, Fred Owens, Mark Wilcox, Hayden Hodge, Kaylinn
Woolever, Katelyn Balakir, Katrina Balon, and Quinlan Doolin qualify for
nationals in district competition at Plymouth HS. Chesterton Middle School
seventh-grader Quentin Funderburg wins the school-level competition of the
National Geography Bee.
Report: all nine
Duneland Schools, the Discovery Charter School, and St. Patrick Catholic
School receive an “A” grade in school accountability for 2015 from DOE. U.S.
Steel (USS) posts a net loss of $1.5 billion in 2015 (net income in 2014 of
$102 million) and a net loss of $999 million in 4Q 2015 (net loss in 3Q of
$173 million, net income in year-ago of $275 million).
The House Public
Policy Committee votes 12-0 to send HB1247 to the floor for a vote; HB1247,
however, has been emptied of the original language authored by State Reps.
Sean Eberhart and Tim Dermody and replaced with the text of State Sen. James
Merritt’s SB188, which would force IATC to issue the DNR three-way permits.
The USW rallies for a fair contract at the headquarters in Chicago of
ArcelorMittal USA; ArcelorMittal Chair Lakshmi Mittal meets with a
delegation of Steelworkers.
The CHS debate team
wins the state championship for the third consecutive year, beating West
Lafayette HS by a the score of 97 to 85.5; Tim Vincent and Joel Peterson
successfully defend their previous state title in Policy.
The National Park
Service (NPS) announces plans to restore the Great Marsh wetlands in Beverly
Shores later in the winter or in early spring. The USW ratifies a new
three-year collective bargaining agreement with USS by a 2-1 margin. Liberty
Intermediate School student Noah Fletcher wins the school spelling bee, with
Eric Swanson second and Cormac Fallon third.
The Porter County
Council approves the articles of a charitable non-profit foundation in which
it will invest the proceeds from the sale of Porter Memorial Hospital to
Community Health Systems. The Indiana House passes HB1247--which would force
IATC to issue three-way permits to the DNR--by a 58-38 vote: eight Democrats
join 50 Republicans in voting for the bill.
The Duneland School
Board approves a proposal to introduce boys and girls tennis at CMS, with
the season to begin after spring break. The Discovery Charter School Science
Bowl team of fifth- and sixth-graders wins the state championship in its
class. Report: the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.8 million tons of
cargo in 2015, the second highest tonnage in more than two decades and the
third highest in its history.
Commissioner John Evans, R-North, announces his decision not to seek a fifth
term; Porter County Council Member Jim Biggs, R-at large, files for Evans’
seat, as do Chesterton Redevelopment Commission Member Jeff Trout and
Portage City Council Member John Cannon.
a net loss of $7.9 billion in 2015 (net loss in 2014 of $1.08 billion) and a
net loss in the 4Q of $6.68 billion (net loss in 3Q of $711 million and net
loss in year-ago of $955 million). The Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces
the conclusion of its first-ever capital campaign to raise funds to
permanently protect an additional 500 acres of environmentally significant
land; Shirley Heinze’s goal was $3.5 million, with contributions actually
totaling more than $4.6 million.
The CHS girls swim
team finishes third at state. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes,
pledges to “do whatever she can to get HB1247 killed” in the Senate. The
Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police honors Chesterton Police Department
Reserve Sgt. Dale Pflughaupt with its 2015 Community Service Award. NiSource
Inc. posts a net income of $302 million in 2015 (net income of $530 million
in 2014) and net income of $59.4 million in 4Q ($152.4 million in the
Diva Bridegroom is
honored as CHS Trojan Guard Drum Major, Riley Franklin as Outstanding Trojan
Guardsman, and Natalie Stemler as Outstanding Trojan Guard Auxiliary Member.
The CHS speech team ends its regular 2015-16 season with a strong finish at
its annual Skeffington Memorial Speech Invitational, with nine tournament
champions. NIPSCO agrees to cut in half a proposed 11.5-percent electric
rate hike, settling for 5.4 percent; the agreement with the OUCC is subject
to review and approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
Council Member Jim Ton, R-1st, is elected chair of the Northwestern Indiana
Regional Planning Commission’s Executive Board. Local homeschooled student
Adam Chesak is named a finalist in the National Merit Scholarship Program.
Indiana Dunes State Park seeks a permit from the Indiana Department of
Environmental Management (IDEM) to realign Dunes Creek, which has meandered
several hundred feet to the west.
The Porter County
Drainage Board votes to end the “ditch tax” levied against the owners of
property crossed by regulated drains. CHS wrestler Jack Tolin finishes sixth
at state. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office files suit against
a Chesterton travel company, Sunbound Travels LLC, and its owner, Nicole
Scott, alleging that the company sold “bogus vacation packages to
The Senate Public
Policy Committee appends HB1247--which would force IATC to issue three-way
permits to the DNR--to an omnibus bill, HB1386, then votes 7-2 to send the
bill to the floor. House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City,
delivers a petition with the signatures of nearly 10,000 people--collected
by Dunes Action and opposing the construction of a banquet center at Indiana
Dunes State Park--to Gov. Mike Pence. The CHS boys swim team finishes sixth
Seven CHS seniors
are named finalists in the National Merit Scholarship Program: Christine
Craig, Keely Ellman, Jared Gallina, Fred Owens, Joel Peterson, Nathan
Poczekay, and Hunter Warren. Contract talks between the USW and
ArcelorMittal reach the six-month mark. The CHS Japanese Olympiad team wins
the state championship in the third-year division, is runner-up in the
second-year division, and takes third in the fourth-year division
competition at Ball State University.
Systems, the owner of Porter Regional Hospital, buys LaPorte and Starke
hospitals; part of the deal is a $140-million commitment to provide new
services, acquire new technology, and recruit new physicians. The 400
employees of Urschel Laboratories Inc. at Coffee Creek Center in Chesterton
acquire an ownership-stake in the company, under which stock shares will be
allocated annually to employee accounts at no out-of-pocket cost to workers.
The annual Maple
Sugar Time is held at the Chellberg Farm site at Indiana Dunes National
Lakeshore. The CHS speech team qualifies 14 for nationals: Lexi Justak, Izzy
Portugal, Josh Hogan, Emily Coleman, Sam Lee, Sam Gordon, Karly Carden,
James Van Drie, Ayesha Khan, Natalie Beglin, Noelle Friel, Connor Wantuch,
Hanna Geiss, and Creighton Gaff. The CHS Sandpipers are Grand Champion at
the Southland Show Choir Classic in Enterprise, Ala., the Drifters are
runner-up in the women’s division. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce hosts
the first annual Corkscrew & Brew event at Thomas Centennial Park in
The CHS jazz band
receives Superior Gold at the ISSMA Jazz Contest at LaPorte HS. The Indiana
House votes 63-30 to pass an omnibus bill which includes HB1247, which would
force IATC to issue three-way permits to the DNR; the bill now goes to Gov.
Pence for signing. The Chesterton Tribune reports that Pavilion
Partners principal Chuck Williams’ donations to the Republican Party include
rent-free offices and in-kind donations.
The St. Patrick
Catholic School Science Olympiad team takes second place and earns 19 medals
in competition at Purdue Calumet College. Former Valparaiso investment
manager William Cantrell is sentenced to seven years in federal prison and
ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution to the nine persons who entrusted
him with their retirement funds, after he’s convicted of mail fraud.
The CHS speech team
finishes second in Class AAA and third overall at state; Tim Vincent wins
impromptu and Hanna Geiss discussion. Indiana American Water Company
announces plans to replace old water mains on the west side of town, between
West Porter Ave. and West Morgan Ave. The Chesterton Redevelopment
Commission awards a $124,275 contract to NITCO, a Hebron DSL and broadband
provider, to engineer the town’s new fiber-optic network.
The team of Zachary
Mullins, Josh Sweet, Xavier Pittman, and Calvin Anders wins the CHS Book
Battle championship. A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the new addition
to the Duneland Unit of the Boys and Girls Club of Porter County; the
addition will double the size of the current building and feature a
full-size gymnasium and two-story climbing wall. The CMS Science Olympiad
team takes second at state. Gov. Pence signs a bill repealing ISTEP.
Terry and Beth
Gassoway, owners of the Port Drive In, announce their retirement at the end
of the 2016 season, after 38 years of serving chili dogs and BK root beer;
the Port goes up for sale. Boy Scouts Connor Archbald, Colten Carter, Josh
Owens, and Josh Williams of Troop 908 earn Eagle Scout rank. Educator,
legislator, Dunelander Ralph Ayres dies at the age of 67.
Gov. Pence signs an
omnibus bill which includes HB1247; effective July 1, IATC will be forced to
issue three-way permits to the DNR without local ABC oversight or
investigation. An unknown person forces entry into the Pavilion at Indiana
Dunes State Park, damaging three sets of doors and locks.
bikes-on-trains program--weekends only--begins on the Northern Indiana
Commuter Transportation District’s South Shore commuter line. The
Chesterton Tribune begins its 133rd year as a community newspaper. A
total of 1.14 inches of rain falls on Duneland, most of it in 30 minutes,
giving the Chesterton Utility’s new 1.2-million gallon storage tank its
first genuine workout, with 10,000 gallons of wastewater and runoff being
diverted from the system until the treatment plant has a chance to catch up.
the 84-inch hot strip mill at its East Chicago facility--but lays off none
of the 300 who work the mill--in order to take capacity off line and
rationalize the company’s U.S. operations. USS confirms that it’s downsizing
its non-represented workforce by 25 percent; a spokesperson calls the move a
“restructuring” and attributes it to current market conditions and to the
long-term strategic belt-tightening dubbed the Carnegie Way.
21, the Chesterton resident and Valparaiso University student accused of a
hostage hoax at the VU library in April 2015, is vindicated, after a voice
recognition expert identifies the voice of the person who phone-hoaxed him
three days after the incident at VU as that of the person who perpetrated
the hostage hoax in the first place; the two charges filed against Clemmens--intimidation
and false informing--are dismissed.
The Porter County
Park Board is forced by the County Council to chose which project--the Raise
the Barn education center at Sunset Hill Farm or Aukiki Park--it wants to
pursue funding for in 2016; the Park Board plumps for Aukiki. Indiana Dunes
National Lakeshore Superintendent Paul Labovitz says that potentially
dangerous cavities in the sand at Mt. Baldy are only one reason the site
remains closed; it remains off limits to the public also due to severe
erosion caused by currently high lake levels.
The residents of
the Tamarack subdivision ask the Chesterton Town Council to build a sidewalk
on the west side of C.R. 100E south of 1100N; the council says in response
that the area in question is in unincorporated Liberty Township and that the
town has no jurisdiction there. U.S. Sens. Dan Coats, R-Ind., and Joe
Donnelly, D-Ind., ask the Government Publishing Office’s Style Board to
formally refer to Indiana residents as Hoosiers.
AP: the black bear
which wandered into Northwest Indiana in 2015 from southwest Michigan is
captured and euthanized in Michigan after it became aggressive and attempted
to enter homes. WDSO broadcasts from the CHS cafeteria and the Red Cup Cafe
in Downtown Chesterton. A boil order is issued to 10,000 folks in Duneland,
Portage, and South Haven after a 16-inch water main breaks in the area of
U.S. 12 and Ind. 149 in Burns Harbor.
Coroner Chuck Harris attributes a drop in fatal heroin overdoses in 2015 to
the Narcan kits issued to Porter County police officers. The Shirley Heinze
Land Trust acquires 165 acres along the Little Calumet River adjacent to the
National Lakeshore’s Heroin Rookery site in Pine Township. Shifting
Sands: On the Path to Sustainability, a documentary on the Indiana Dunes
produced by environmentalist Lee Botts, premieres on Lakeshore Public
The 88 homes in the
Fox Chase Farms subdivision in Liberty Township are connected to the
Chesterton sanitary sewer system. Cathy Brown, co-owner of Valpo Velvet, is
appointed to the Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor
Commission to replace Jesse Harper, who resigned his seat. The CHS symphonic
band receives a near perfect score at ISSMA district competition, earning
both the Gold Superior and the highly coveted “With Distinction” awards.
Police Department (CPD) urges motorists to use extreme caution, as the
Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) begins a re-paving of Ind. 49
between U.S. 12 and the Indiana Toll Road.
NiSource posts a
net income of $179.7 million in the 1Q (a net income of $268.4 million in
the year-ago). The Duneland School Board votes unanimously to appoint
Brandon Kroft to the unexpired term of the late Ralph Ayres; Kroft is a 1991
CHS graduate who previously served on the Duneland Education Foundation and
the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals.
In the primary
election, Democrat Pamela Mishler Fish beats Jesse Harper and the right to
challenge incumbent State Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; incumbent Democrat
Judge Julia Jent defeats challenger Michael Deppe; Republican Jim Biggs
prevails over Jeff Trout and John Cannon for the open North District seat on
the Porter County Commissioners; and Republicans Jeff Larson, Rich Parks,
and Travis Gearhart are the top vote-getters in the pick-three contest for
at-large seats on the Porter County Council, beating Ralph Levi and Howard
The team of Riley
Hawksworth, Eric Sparks, Liam Grimes, and Mark Vear wins the WIS Book Battle
championship. ArcelorMittal posts a net loss of $416M in the 1Q (net loss of
$6.68 billion in the 4Q, net loss of $711 million in the year-ago). The
Duneland Exchange Club presents its A.C.E Award (Accepting the Challenge of
Education) to Syrian refugee Juli Hanna.
Joseph Carlin, 58,
of Niles, Mich., is killed in a head-on collision on U.S. 6 in Jackson
Township, after crossing the center line and colliding with a second vehicle
driven by a Westville man. Boy Scout Joey Petrovitch of Troop 908 earns the
Eagle Scout rank.
Five persons are
injured--but miraculously no one is killed--in a six-vehicle chain-reaction
accident on Ind. 49 at Gateway Blvd.; it’s the most spectacular but only one
of many rear-end crashes during INDOT’s re-paving project, most of them
blamed on impatience and inattentiveness; trucker Predrag Radisavljevic, 36,
of Hickory Hills, Ill., who’s issued a citation for speed too great for
conditions and following too closely, admits he wasn’t paying attention, the
A house in the 1100
block of Harbor Way in the Village of Burns Harbor is gutted by a fire which
spreads to the house next door; total damage to the first house is $360,000,
that to the second $100,000, from a blaze which the Burns Harbor Fire
Department blames on the careless use of smoking materials. USN Cdr. Scott
Rosetti--CHS Class of 1994--assumes command of the USS John Paul Jones,
a guided missile destroyer based in San Diego, Calif.
Board Chair Jim Ton confirms a three-week delay in the Ind. 49 re-paving
job, while INDOT revises the project specs after it’s determined that the
roadway’s poor substrate will require a thicker asphalt surface.
Chesterton Tribune managing editor David Canright presents the Warren R.
Canright Outstanding Senior Journalism Award to Katelynn Williams of the CHS
Ken and Pat Baur
announce the closing, on Sept. 30, of Framing Concepts at 219 Broadway,
marking the end of 78 continuous years of a Baur storefront in downtown
Chesterton; the property is put up for sale. NICTD approves a 5-percent
phased-in fare hike on the South Shore commuter line, effective July 1, for
the purpose of raising additional funds for capital projects and federal
grant matches. The Chesterton Math Team--comprised of students from CMS, WIS,
and LIS--is the Grand Champion at the Ben Franklin Math Competition.
The Duneland School
Board names Marc Urban the new CHS boys basketball coach; Urban is an
Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year. CMS and St.
Patrick Catholic School earn the DOE’s Four Star rating for the 2014-15
school year. The Chesterton Fire Department takes delivery of a new $462,362
pumper. CHS Senior Athletes of the Year are named: Garritt Slatcoff (seven
varsity letters in football and track); and Desiree Bell (eight varsity
letters in soccer and track).
Redevelopment Commission demands that the Lake Erie Land Company either
repair the crumbling brick pavers at Coffee Creek Center or replace them
with asphalt. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore expands by 32 acres--land
adjacent to the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center--purchased on behalf
of NPS by the National Park Trust with funds made available by NIPSCO.
Donald Pratt, 82, dies of injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash at the
intersection of U.S. 20 and Brummitt Road in Westchester Township. Ronald
Warner, 76, dies in a one-vehicle accident on Waverly Road in Porter. The
Porter County Sheriff’s Police announces the results of a saturation patrol
in Burns Harbor, held when the Hells Angels visit the Mill Bar & Grill for a
charity event: 65 traffic stops, 21 citations, 53 written warnings, six
arrests, and four impounds. Indiana Toll Road traffic is restricted to one
lane in each direction, making the rush-hour commute an ordeal and rear-end
collisions daily events. The Discovery Charter School begins a bee-keeping
program on its property.
The M.V. Lubic
officially opens the international shipping season at the Port of
Indiana-Burns Harbor with the customary load of imported foreign steel. The
circuit breaker trips in the Town of Chesterton: the Indiana Department of
Local Government Finance slashes the town’s previously certified budget by
$482,250.75 or 7.8 percent. USS posts a net loss of $340 million in the 1Q
(a net loss of $1.13 billion in the 4Q, a net loss of $75 million in the
Molly Hadenfelt and
her American quarter horse, Sweet Comfort, win four top placings at the
American Quarter Horse Association’s Level 1 championship in Oklahoma City,
Okla. The USW and ArcelorMittal reach a tentative agreement, almost eight
months exactly after the previous contract expired. Six members of the CHS
Sandscript are winners in the annual high school writing contest
sponsored by the Woman’s Press Club of Indiana: Katelynn Williams, Jennie
Moran, Erin Grimes, Kady Chad, Patrick Sosby, and Katrina Gregurich.
Restore I-94, a $45-million project to modernize I-94 between the Illinois
and Michigan borders in 2016, warning motorists to expect congestion, slow
travel times, and back-ups. The Discovery Charter School breaks ground on
its new building, which will include a combination gym/cafeteria and eight
classrooms. The 2016 edition of Rebuilding Together Duneland is held;
community projects include a fresh paint job on the Chesterton Art Center
and planting and landscaping at Chesterton Park.
The 126th annual
CHS commencement is held outside, in the football stadium; 440 graduates
walk. Michael Jozwiak, 48, of Porter, dies in a motorcycle accident on U.S.
20, reportedly while fleeing a traffic stop. The CFD responds to multiple
rear-end crashes on I-94, as INDOT’s Restore I-94 initiative results in
congestion and slowdowns. The Porter Public Works Department begins an
ambitious re-paving program.
Save the Dunes
Executive Director Nicole Barker leaves the organization to take the
position of director of capital investment and implementation at NICTD.
Kristina Knowski’s watercolor “It Might Have Been a Bird” takes Best of Show
at the 65th annual Woman’s Club Art Club Show.
Alexander Winey, 21--U.S. Army, CHS Class of 2014--dies in a training
accident at Fort Hood, Texas; he’s one of nine soldiers who drowned when
their vehicle overturned in a flash flood, days after Winey completed his
second year at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point; the community mourns
as Gov. Pence orders flags at all state facilities to be flown at half-mast.
The CHS boys golf
team wins its second consecutive sectional title in competition at Forest
Park Golf Course. Former Duneland teachers Jim and Betty Ertel celebrate
their 70th wedding anniversary. The Northwest Indiana Paddlers Association
lauds the Kankakee River’s designation as a National Water Trail.
The BHFD rescues
eight orphaned ducklings trapped in a storm drain in the Village of Burns
Harbor. The Shirley Heinze Land Trust celebrates 35 years of land
conservation in Northwest Indiana. Charterboat captain Tyler Kreighbaum of
Michigan City catches the largest lake trout ever in Indiana waters while
fishing on Lake Michigan; the monster is 44 inches in length and weighs 38
pounds, eight pounds heavier than the previous record.
CHS golfer Mitch
Davis is named to the Boys All-State Team by the Indiana High School Golf
Coaches Association. The Izaak Walton League’s Indiana Division honors the
Chesterton Tribune with its Russell Sinclair News Media Award, “for
excellent reporting and editorials” on the Pavilion Partners’ proposed
banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park. The CHS speech and debate team
wins the School of Outstanding Distinction--awarded to the top 10 teams in
the country--at nationals in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The First Baptist
Church of Chesterton celebrates its 60th anniversary. The second annual Kids
Fishing Derby is held at Indian Springs Park in Porter, sponsored by the
Porter Park Department and the Chesterton Stormwater Utility. Leroy’s Hot
Stuff hosts the fifth annual Friends in Service Together (F.I.S.T.)
motorcycle riding club’s Child Advocacy Benefit Ride. Lydia Johnston, 76, of
Porter, dies after being struck by a train at the Norfolk Southern
grade-crossing on South Jackson Blvd., while trying to cross the tracks on
Charter School shifts to self-management, officially breaking from the
oversight of American Quality Schools, a management company which operates
several charter schools in Indiana and Chicago. Ground breaks on the Porter
Business Park, a 14,000-square foot commercial retail building on 2.4 acres
just west of Porter Regional Hospital. The USW ratifies a new three-year
collective bargaining agreement with ArcelorMittal, just about a year after
contract talks began and nearly 10 months after the previous contract
Work begins on a
new canopy over the main entrance at CMS. The Porter County Council votes
unanimously to allocate $2.25 million for the new animal shelter, to be
built near the County Expo Center on Ind. 49 between Division Road and U.S.
30. The 20th Midsummer Solstice event is held at Chellberg Farm at Indiana
Dunes National Lakeshore.
Dunelanders are named as bearers of the Indiana Bicentennial Torch as it
makes its way through Porter County: Anthony Paetsch, David Halkias, Dave
Hartford, Paul Boyter, Geof Benson, Wendy Mang, and Jim Paglia.
Chamber of Commerce hosts the eighth annual Fireworks at the Lakefront
extravaganza at Indiana Dunes State Park and Indiana Dunes National
Lakeshore. The BHFD suspects fireworks are the cause of a fire which causes
$10,000 in damage to a house in the Village of Burns Harbor.
Pedal Power, a
July-to-October bike-rental business operated by Mark and Deana Lacy, opens
in the cul-de-sac at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center, with the
Porter Town Council’s blessing. Former CHS swimmer Blake Pieroni wins a spot
on the U.S. Olympic Team, competing at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro,
Brazil, after setting three different personal records in the 100 free at
the qualifying finals.
Teresa M. Lawhead,
51, of Chesterton, dies in a motorcycle accident on 1100N, when Harry L.
Waelde, 48, of Valparaiso, turns in front of her bike. Fourth months after
Indiana American Water Company began replacing water mains on the west side
of town, the house-to-house tie-in process hasn’t yet begun; neither has
restoration of road cuts and front yards.
The Indiana Natural
Resources Commission gives preliminary approval to a rule change which would
permit the DNR to obtain a three-way permit from the IATC, to reflect
legislation which took effect on July 1; currently the rule permits a
concessionaire only to obtain a three-way for alcohol service in the
Pavilion. The Chesterton Town Council expands the 6,000-foot swath of
“riverfront” district along Coffee Creek from East Porter Ave. to the
Indiana Toll Road, with an eye to making future eateries at Coffee Creek
Center eligible for three-way alcohol permits exempt from local quotas.
Indiana Dunes State
Park Property Manager Brandt Baughman tell the Chesterton Tribune
that Pavilion Partners, not the DNR, is responsible for maintaining and
stocking the comfort station at the beach, in response to reports of poor
conditions in the restrooms. Porter County Superior Court Judge David
Chidester prevails in a legal flap with Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel,
when the Indiana Supreme Court rules that Chidester may request, and Gensel
must provide, copies of police officers’ OWI arrest reports.
acquires LaPorte Savings Bank; the LaPorte Savings’ Chesterton branch will
close in the fall and its functions--and personnel--moved to Horizons’
Chesterton branch. Pokemon Go sweeps Duneland; a Liberty Township man is
arrested on an OWI charge after crashing his vehicle in Burns Harbor while
playing the mobile game on his smartphone.
Central Ave. Beach in Beverly Shores, nearly a year after it was closed when
storm waves swept away most of its beach. The IURC approves an electric rate
hike of about 6 percent, per a “collaborative agreement” between NIPSCO and
the OUCC; the average household will pay an additional $5.70 per month,
beginning in October. The Dunes Kankakee Trail linking the Dorothy Buell
Visitor Center, Indiana Dunes State Park, and the Town of Porter’s trail
system is dedicated in a ceremony at the Visitor Center.
The recipients at
the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual award luncheon: Amber Hensell-Hicks,
Duneland Distinguished Woman; Bob Capehart, Golden Achievement Award; Dan
Ameling and Kelly Shikany, Volunteers of the Year; Bill Meyer and George’s
Gyros, Putting Duneland on the Map; Nicki Caylor of Running Vines, Spotlight
Award; Designer Deserts, Business Renovation Award; and Road to Life Church,
Humanitarian of the Year.
A Dunes Action
fundraiser draws a crowd of 160 to St. Patrick Catholic Church’s Chapel
Hall. ArcelorMittal names Robrecht Himpe as the new CEO of ArcelorMittal
North America. USS posts a net loss of $46 million in the 2Q (net loss of
$340 million in the 1Q, net loss of $261 million in the year-ago).
A 200-foot stretch
of the newly re-paved Ind. 49, directly opposite Bailey Drive, is closed
after it begins seeping a foul-smelling green ooze, identified as slag, a
byproduct of the steelmaking process; investigators believe the seep was
caused by a chemical reaction of slag and groundwater.
NPS: the DNR must
submit Pavilion Partners’ plan before the rehabilitation of the Pavilion may
continue, pursuant to the Land and Water Conservation Act (LWCF) of 1965,
which authorizes NPS to approve any potential “conversion” of LWCF-encumbered
property used for public recreation.
a net income of $1.1 billion in the 2Q (a net loss of $416 million in the
1Q, a net income of $179 million in the year-ago). Lightning hits a South
Shore concatenary line, leaving a powerless train with 300 passengers
stranded west of Hegewisch; at the same time a hack traced to Russia
executes a denial of service attack on NICTD’s website; a three-hour
line-wide delay ensues and five trains are canceled entirely and folks
looking for updates are unable to access the website.
of Chesterton and Girl Scouts of America Service Unit 318 is honored for her
70 years of service to Girl Scouting. Girl Scout Kathryn Ausema of
Chesterton and Troop 30109 earns the most prestigious national honor in Girl
Scouting: the Gold Award. U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., visits Urschel
Laboratories Inc. at Coffee Creek Center in Chesterton.
NiSource posts a
net income in the 2Q of $28.6 million (a net loss of $36.4 million in the
year-ago). The 58th annual Chesterton Art Fair is held at Dogwood Park. The
CFD holds the 15th annual Street Dance. The Chesterton Park Board purchases
new playground equipment for Chesterton Park ($23,596.12) and Olde Towne
Capt. Michael Masty,
U.S. Army and CHS Class of 2000, earns an appointment to the Space and
Missile Defense Command. A jury finds Thomas Reichler, 19, of Porter, guilty
of murder in the shooting death of Alex Tapia outside his home in Portage in
December 2014, after Tapia found Reichler rifling through his vehicle.
The third annual
Christina Lynn Hill Benefit for Overdose Awareness is held at the American
Legion Post 170 in Chesterton. Former CHS swimmer Blake Pieroni wins Olympic
Gold in the 4x100 at the Rio Games. An all-access geocaching trail opens at
the Coffee Creek Watershed Preserve; its self-guided tour features 13 points
of interest and folks with a GPS device can follow clues to a cache.
CPD Chief Dave
Cincoski urges Pokemon Go enthusiasts not to use the mobile game as an
excuse for trespassing. NIPSCO announces plans to demolish the
out-of-service Dean H. Mitchell electric generating station in Gary, a
two-year, $18-million project.
IATC approves DNR’s
three-way permit for alcohol service at nine state parks, including Indiana
Dunes State Park, where Pavilion Partners plans to open a restaurant in the
Pavilion and build a banquet center. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says
that “drugs and alcohol played a role” in the drowning death of a Lafayette
man who was in the water in the evening, after the beach had been closed to
swimming for the day.
Advisory Plan Commission votes unanimously to table consideration of a
28-unit condominium complex in the Villages of Sand Creek, after a crowd of
Villages neighbors express concerns about traffic and stormwater runoff.
Porter Board of Zoning Appeals attorney Laura Frost says that a use variance
granted to Seven Peaks Waterpark in 2015--for year-round activities like
paint ball--has expired, after the waterpark failed to launch the activities
within 12 months of the variance’s being issued.
The Izaak Walton
League honors Liberty Township resident Bonnie Swarner and the Northwest
Indiana Paddlers Association with Save our Streams awards at the Ikes’
annual convention in Stevens Point, Wis. NIRPC voices its vehement
opposition to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s move to merge the
agency’s functions with those of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for
Planning; NIRPC Executive Board Chair Jim Ton says that Northwest Indiana
would end up with the short end of the stick when it comes to federal
Court Judge Roger Bradford denies the motion of former Duneland realtor Don
Johnson for the dismissal of eight of the 17 felony charges filed against
him, on the ground that the statute of limitations has expired; Johnson is
charged with selling unregistered securities and with selling securities
without himself being registered to do so.
The Chesterton Town
Council votes 4-1 to approve a planned unit development ordinance for the
Residences of Chesterton, a senior living facility to be built at Coffee
Creek Center; Member Jim Ton, R-1st, votes against the amendment because it
permits two monument signs larger than permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.
The Chesterton Town Council votes unanimously to approve the issuance of
economic development bonds for the StoryPoint senior living facility, to be
built on Dickinson Road.
WDSO celebrates its
40th year of broadcasting at CHS. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris reports
that fatal heroin overdoses are trending up, with 10 investigated through
June compared to only four in the first six months of 2015. Only Duneland
School Board incumbents John Marshall and Kristin Kroeger will be on the
ballot in November, after no candidates step forward to challenge them. The
Ind. 49 re-paving project complicates the Duneland Schools’ first day of
classes, as many bus drivers opt to use Meridian Road instead of Ind. 49.
Tribune reports that August was the wettest month in years in Duneland;
fully 8.75 inches of rain were recorded at the wastewater treatment plant,
the most since 18.15 inches fell in the Great Flood month of September 2008,
12 of them in the space of 72 hours; none of the multiple rain events,
however, forced the treatment plant to bypass, thanks to the Utility’s new
1.2-million gallon storage tank. The Duneland Unit of the Boys and Girls
Club invites folks, as a fundraiser, to purchase a personalized brick which
will be fixed in the club’s entryway.
The ninth annual
Taste of Duneland is held in Thomas Centennial Park. Franciscan Alliance
announces that it’s dropping saints’ names from its hospitals; Franciscan
St. Anthony Health in Michigan City will accordingly become Franciscan
Health Michigan City. The Northwest Indiana Paddlers Association announces
plans to take chainsaws to log jams in the Little Calumet River along two
stretches in Duneland, to re-establish the water trail.
The Chesterton Park
Board approves the purchase of new playground equipment for Dogwood Park, at
a cost of $182,109.36; and a new manufactured restroom at Dogwood, at a cost
of $138,140.35. A telecom cable is inadvertently severed during excavation
for a new sign at the Westchester Township History Museum at 700 W. Porter
Ave., causing a “telecommunications break” in the Duneland Schools.
Ground breaks on
the new Porter County Animal Shelter. CHS senior Hayley O’Keefe and family
once again organize the annual 9/11 placement of 2,977 U.S. flags in the
grass outside the football stadium.
Government plants a redbud tree--donated by Chesterton Feed & Garden--in the
school’s courtyard, in memory of the late educator and legislator Ralph
Ayres. The CHS Trojan Guard takes second at its season opener, the Goshen HS
Crimson Invitational. CHS seniors Amy Socha, Sydney Ghoreishi, David
Kosakowski, Mark Wilcox, and Lennon Matz are among the 16,000 2017 National
Merit Scholarship Program semi-finalists.
A standing room
only crowd at the Library Service Center attends a public hearing on a new
proposed charter school, the South Shore Classical Academy; opponents--who
far outnumber supporters--bristle at the suggestion that a classical academy
is needed or would offer students any better education than the Duneland
Schools already do; two days later, the organizers of South Shore Classical
Academy withdraw their application, saying “It was never our intention to
work against or subvert the public will.”
WDSO goes off the
air for two weeks, after a transmitter fails. The first annual Apple
Festival is held at Chellberg Farm at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, in
place of the former Harvest Festival. The fifth annual Hooked on Art
festival is held in downtown Chesterton; proceeds from the event support
Frontline Foundation Inc.’s substance abuse treatment program for young
Gary Atkinson and
Donna Harris, both of Porter County, are sentenced to eight years on
probation and ordered to pay $2,183,831 in restitution to 36 victims, after
being convicted of securities fraud and acting an unregistered
broker-dealers; Atkinson and Harris operated Dunes Country Mortgage Partners
and Nova Star Securities, purportedly offering an investment opportunity in
a real estate development along the Lake Michigan shoreline.
Joan and Loren
Knibbs are honored by the Duneland Resale Shop and Duneland Community Center
for their 60 years of community service with such organizations as Save the
Dunes, Alliance for the Great Lakes, and Scouting. Dan Plath--president of
the Northwest Indiana Paddlers Association--is named the new Chief of
Resource Management at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The Porter County
Museum marks its 100th anniversary as an exhibition of local artifacts.
Roy Flaherty, a
long-time member of the Chesterton Park Board and a devoted friend of the
Chesterton parks, dies at 64. U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, is presented
with the 2016 Congressional Steel Champion Award by the American Iron and
Medalist Blake Pieroni is the Grand Marshal of the CHS Homecoming Parade;
Brandon Sufina is elected Homecoming King, Isabelle Wheeler, Queen; Paul
Petro, Prince; and Annie Spangler, Princess. Community Health Systems Inc.,
owner of Porter Regional Hospital, eyes a possible buy-out as one possible
response to significant financial losses and a plummeting stock price.
Indiana Historical Power Association holds its annual Steam Power Show at
Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The Duneland Family YMCA marks its 50th
anniversary with the Family Fall Fest.
West Lake Corridor extension of the South Shore commuter line gets approval
from the Federal Transit Administration to enter project development; in
advance of the FTA’s announcement, NICTD approves a $20-million contract
with HDR Inc. to do the project’s preliminary engineering and prepare an
environmental impact statement. The CHS boys tennis team wins its third
consecutive sectional title. U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, authors a bill
which would make Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore a national park.
CHS golfer Elyse
Stasil is the runner-up at the IHSSA girls state finals. Jonathan Arizzola,
a maintenance worker at USS Gary Works, dies in an accident in the hot strip
mill; in the days before the incident, the USW had been protesting the
lay-offs and demotions of maintenance workers, saying the cost-cutting
move--recommended by a consultant--made the mill less safe.
Highway Superintendent David James calls CSX uncommunicative about its track
work, after its closure of grade-crossings on Meridian Road and C.R. 50W
makes life massively inconvenient for Duneland Schools bus drivers and
Liberty Township residents. Corinne Johns of Porter and Alexis Schroeder of
Valparaiso die when Schroeder fails to yield for a semi-tractor trailer at
an intersection on M-66 in Branch County, Mich.
patrol officers wear pink patches on their uniforms during October to
increase awareness about breast cancer. The CFD holds its annual Lights &
Sirens Parade to kick off National Fire Prevention Week. The CHS Trojan
Guard advances to ISSMA state finals, following competition at Homestead HS
in Fort Wayne.
CHS musicians Zane
Mauke, Andrew Figg, Mark Hodgkiss, Aaron Brookhouse, and Trey Bonnema are
selected to the 17th annual All-District Honor Band by the Indiana
Bandmasters Association. The CHS boys soccer team wins its fourth
consecutive sectional title with a victory over Valparaiso HS. Chesterton
Tribune reporter Jeff Schultz rips the throat out of the role of Head
Zombie in Chicago Street Theater’s production of Night of the Living Dead.
local jewelry designer Stephanie Swanson launches her new book, Playing
with Fire: A Jeweler’s Guide to Metalsmithing, with a signing at The
Flower Cart. Porter Town Council Member Tim Conroy, D-5th, resigns his seat
after moving out of his district. NIPSCO projects a 24-percent spike in the
2016-17 winter heating season gas bills. Early voting begins in Porter
County; 540 residents cast ballots on the first day, a new record by a mile.
One half of the
Augustyn Brothers acting duo, Frank, 11, of Chesterton, has a walk-on and
-off role on the season premiere of Chicago Heat; meanwhile, the
other half, Syd, 14, continues to make a name of his own on the big and
small screen alike; their mother, world authority on Jamaican music Heather
Augustyn, is proud.
A sell-out crowd at
the 15th annual Community Prayer Breakfast hears keynote speaker Ken
Jennings talk about putting one’s faith in God. The CHS boys soccer team
wins the regional title with a victory over Munster HS. The CHS boys cross
country team is third at regionals in New Prairie and the girls team fourth.
CPD K-9 partner
Igor--handled by Sgt. Dan Rocha--is retired after six years of faithful
service to the community. Burns Harbor Park Director Kim Burton is honored
with the 2016 Ivan J. Brinegar Municipal Management Award from the Indiana
Association of Cities and Towns. The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission
endorses Van Tobel Corporation’s plan for 28 condo units at the Villages of
The CHS boys soccer
team advances to the state championship match after beating West Noble HS
and Harrison HS on the same day. Porter artist Mark Vander Vinne receives
Best Painting Award at the 38th annual Regional Juried Exhibition at the
Midwest Museum of Art in Elkhart.
19, of Porter, is sentenced to 62 years in prison for the murder of Alex
Tapia of Portage. The CHS Trojan Guard takes third at the state “A” ISSMA
finals in competition in Indianapolis. Bailly Elementary and Westchester
Intermediate celebrate their 50th anniversary.
The CHS boys soccer
team is edged out 2-1 by Evansville Memorial HS in the state championship
match in Indianapolis; Owen Hallas is presented with the 2016 C. Eugene Cato
Mental Attitude Award, sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance. The CHS
boys cross country team finishes 18th at state. The Duneland Chamber of
Commerce’s annual family trick-or-treat event draws an enormous crowd to
authorization from the IURC to retire and decommission Bailly Generating
Station’s coal-fired units in the next two years; NIPSCO says that its goal
is to “provide ongoing work opportunities” for the 110 employed at the
facility, “by proactively working with union leadership and affected
employees.” Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore culminates its year-long
celebration of its 50th anniversary with a film fest highlighting the Dunes
and the National Lakeshore.
NiSource posts a
net income of $27.2 million in the 3Q (net loss of $4.9 million in the
year-ago). USS posts its strongest quarterly performance in two years, with
a net income of $51 million in the 3Q (a net loss of $46 million in the 2Q,
a net loss of $173 million in the year-ago). ArcelorMittal posts a net
income of $680 million in the 3Q (net income of $1.11 billion in the 2Q, net
loss of $711 million in the year-ago).
Next year is now:
the Chicago Cubs win the World Series.
Neighborhood Grill & Bar closes its doors after 13 years. Report: nearly 14
percent of registered voters in Porter County early-voted. Kevin J.
Campbell, 69, of Crown Point, is fatally injured in an accident at
ArcelorMittal’s Burns Harbor facility, apparently after being struck by a
The Chesterton Pee
Wee D3 team wins the first Pop Warner state title since 2007, with a victory
over Portage. Save the Dunes names Natalie Johnson its new executive
Donald Trump takes
50 percent of the vote in Porter County to Hillary Clinton’s 43 percent and
49 percent in Duneland’s precincts to Clinton’s 42 percent. Republican Jim
Biggs wins the open North seat on the Porter County Commissioners.
Republican Jeff Larson ousts Democrat Bob Poparad from his at-large seat on
the Porter County Council, while Democrats Sylvia Graham and Dan Whitten are
re-elected to their at-large seats. Democrat Kevin Breitzke is re-elected
Porter County Surveyor. Democrat Michelle Clancy is elected Porter County
Rachel Dover, 24,
of Westville, is charged with OWI-causing death, after the PCSP says that
she struck a motorcycle headon on U.S. 6 in Jackson Township; motorcyclist
Donald McCarthy, 68, of Chesterton, is injured, while his passenger, Nanette
Howard, 55, of Michigan City, is killed.
James H. Higgason
III, 47, of Gary, suspected of stealing lighting wire from Northwest Indiana
highways, is arrested on a charge of stealing lighting wire at Lakeland Park
in Burns Harbor. Three men rob the Verizon store on Plaza Drive at gunpoint,
herding customers and employees into a backroom and restraining them there.
Sunset Hill Farm County Park holds its annual Winter Lights Night Festival.
DOE releases the
2016 ISTEP results; scores fall across the state and in Duneland, as
educators point to tougher core standards; St. Patrick Catholic School
scores higher above the state average than either Duneland Schools or the
Discovery Charter School. Portage Mayor James Snyder and Lake County Sheriff
John Buncich are indicted in federal court, both charged with bribery in
connection with city/county tow contracts.
A fire in a furnace
crucible at Urschel Laboratories Inc. foundry forces the evacuation of the
plant and corporate headquarters; no one is injured and the CFD praises
Urschel employees for their professional response to the incident. The
Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center celebrates its 10th anniversary at its
present location, off Ind. 49 in the Town of Porter.
The Shirley Heinze
Land Trust acquires 7.7 acres along the Little Calumet River in the Town of
Porter. New benches constructed of 800 pounds of recycled bottle caps are
dedicated in Hawthorne Park to the memory of the late Lorain Bell and to
Girl Scout Troop 30352. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual
Hometown Christmas Celebration and Twilight Christmas Parade on Thanksgiving
Dunes Action and
other opponents of a banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park--upwards of
200 of them--vehemently protest a proposed rule change at a public hearing
held by the Indiana Natural Resources Commission (NRC) at Woodland Park; an
NRC rep makes it clear that what’s at issue isn’t alcohol service at the
Pavilion or a banquet center--which is already permitted under the current
rule--but rather changing that rule, to allow the DNR itself, and no longer
the concessionaire, to obtain a three-way permit from IATC; no one likes
hearing that the NRC is uninterested in their opposition to the banquet
center and to alcohol service.
The CHS music
department holds its 44th annual Madrigal Dinner. A wet, heavy snow leaves
11,000 NIPSCO customers in the dark during the storm’s peak and a total of
20,000 over its duration. The Porter County Council tables a request by
Commissioner John Evans, R-North, for reimbursement of $5,000 in legal bills
incurred in connection with an apparent FBI investigation of county
government; council members want to know the status of that investigation
before it cuts a check.
is honored by Chesterton Masonic Calumet Lodge 379 for his 50 years of
service to freemasonry. U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, reads into the
Congressional Record a statement honoring NIRPC on its 50th anniversary. The
Indiana Court of Appeals, in its review of a case originating in Long Beach,
Ind., rules that the owners of property along Lake Michigan must allow the
public access to the beach, on the ground that the shore is owned by the
state and is held as a public trust.
Charter School begins holding classes in its brand-new 16,000-square foot
addition. Bailly Elementary Principal Kevin Zeck expresses his gratitude to
the CPD for the regular continued presence of officers at his school and at
other Duneland Schools in Chesterton. The Duneland School Board sets its
2017-18 school calendar, with the first semester ending not in January but
on the last day of school prior to the Christmas break.
The Chesterton Town
Council votes unanimously to approve a sanitary sewer rate hike, effective
Jan. 1, under which the average household’s bimonthly bill will increase by
$4.58 or 5.64 percent. DOE releases school accountability grades; winning
the A grade are Liberty Elementary and Intermediate, Westchester
Intermediate, and St. Patrick Catholic School; all other Duneland Schools
and the Discovery Charter School receive B grades; last year, in contrast,
all Duneland Schools, St. Pat’s, and Discovery received A grades.
The Porter Town
Council votes 3-2 to reject Paul Childress’ petition for a rezone of 15
acres at 1035 Wagner Road from residential to open space, for the purpose of
operating a family foundation farm. Temperatures plunge to -12 overnight in
Chesterton, following a weekend snowfall of around seven inches; some 3,200
customers lose power for six hours on the coldest night of the year. Indiana
American Water Company issues a boil-advisory to 850 customers after a water
main breaks in the area of Ind. 49 and U.S. 12.
CHS musicians Holly
Kittredge, Sarah Harmony, Tristan Dooley, and Pieter Ausema are named to the
Indiana All-State Orchestra. The Governor’s Office honors retiring Porter
County Commissioner John Evans, R-North, with the Distinguished Hoosier
Award. Coroner Chuck Harris presents officers with the Portage and
Valparaiso PDs and the PCSP with the Phoenix Award, for saving the lives in
2016 of 28 heroin overdose victims by using their department-issued Narcan
anti-opioid emergency kits.
CHS soccer standout
Owen Hallas is named Indiana Mr. Soccer by the Indiana Soccer Coaches
Association--the first Trojan to garner the award--and earns spots on the
All-American, All-State, and All-District teams.