July 30, 2020: NWI Midday News Update - Stay tuned for the latest on a shooting that left a toddler in critical condition, then one university's plans for admissions this fall, while another region high school moves to e-learning.

It's going to take communication, according to Lieutenant Steve Kellogg, Public Information Officer for the Hammond Police Department, to rebuild a trusting and respectful relationship between the black community and police officers.


Hammond, IN - A mostly peaceful  protest in Hammond, Indiana Tuesday afternoon resulted in  the arrest of one man and police using pepper spray on a crowd of about a hundred young people.

HAMMOND -  Peaceful protests in Hammond over the weekend led to  a larger police intervention on Saturday, after a small group broke-off from the event and headed for 80/94.  Hammond Police Department Public Information Officer, Lieutenant Steve Kellogg says the police action was to protect the safety of all.  

Indianapolis imposes curfew after 2 nights of violence

May 31, 2020
Kelly Wilkinson / The Indianapolis Star via AP

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis mayor ordered an overnight curfew after two nights of violent protests over the Minneapolis death of George Floyd led to several shootings and widespread downtown damage.

Woman Hits Walmart After Medical Emergency

Apr 16, 2020

HAMMOND - A woman crashed her vehicle into a Walmart in Hammond after having a medical emergency while driving.

The "Times" reports it happened just after 3 p.m., at the location at 1100 Fifth Avenue in Hammond.

The woman was taken to St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago and did not suffer any major injuries.

No one else was injured in the incident. There was some minor damage to the building but the store remains open.

Provided / Lake County Police Department

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana judge has approved a new attorney for a man who wants to seek a mistrial after being convicted in a sledgehammer attack that wounded another man outside of a school.

A Lake County judge ruled Wednesday that Patrick J. Ross of Hammond will be assigned a new public defender to help him pursue a motion for a mistrial.

GARY, Ind. (AP) — A state senator from northwestern Indiana says he will continue his campaign for governor rather than seek the congressional seat being given up by Democratic Rep. Pete Visclosky.

Sen. Eddie Melton of Gary announced Friday he is "firmly committed to becoming the next governor of Indiana and fighting to improve the quality of life of every Hoosier." Melton is one of three candidates for the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb in the 2020 election.

HOBART - A draft version of a revitalized downtown Hammond was shared Thursday at the annual One Region luncheon at the Avalon Manor in Hobart.

The "Times" reports the organization's President and CEO Leah Konrady led a discussion with nationally known urban planner, Jeff Speck and two former Grand Rapids, Michigan, officials on their experiences with redeveloping downtowns.

HAMMOND - A Hammond woman is making a name for herself in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM field and has been named "Up & Coming Woman of the Year in STEM.

The honoree, Michele Murday, Northwest Indiana Branch Manager for EnviroForeniscs, was chosen by the Northwest Indiana Influential Women's Association.  

Murday, who moved up through the ranks at EnviroForensics in Hammond, plans to help young women who want to get into STEM fields.

excelcenter.org / Goodwill Excel Center

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Certain students in Gary and Hammond who want to get into the IT industry, now have an easier path.  Goodwill LEADS (Learn, Educate, Advance, Develop Students) Inc. has received a $25,000 Legacy Grant for Goodwill's Excel Center, a free, public high school serving students 18 and older.  

Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Guy Fisher, Vice President of Mission Advancement for Goodwill Industries about the grant and how it will be used.

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Goodwill LEADS, a non-profit affiliated with Goodwill Industries of Michiana, has received a $25-thousand dollar grant to offer training in Hammond and Gary for entry level IT certifications.

The grant came from Lake County’s Legacy Foundation for The Excel Centers.  

The donation enables the Excel Center to offer training in entry-level IT certifications, such as: CompTIA IT Fundamentals and CIW Social Media Strategist.  


HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — One of two men charged in connection with a rash of copper wire thefts in northwestern Indiana and neighboring Illinois communities has been sentenced to 6 months in prison.

Federal prosecutors say 24-year-old Diquan Ray also was ordered Tuesday to pay more than $114,000 in restitution to Cook County, Illinois; Hammond, Indiana; East Chicago, Indiana; and South Holland, Illinois.

Alleged Latin King member convicted of drug conspiracy

Jul 10, 2019
Lake County Sheriff's Department

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Indiana say an alleged member of the Latin Kings gang has been convicted of conspiracy and racketeering charges in a scheme to distribute illegal drugs.

Jeremiah Farmer of Hammond was convicted Tuesday of being part of a conspiracy that also resulted in the June 1999 beating deaths of 74-year-old Marion Lowry and 67-year-old Harvey Siegers. The men were beaten was a small sledge hammer at Calumet Auto Rebuilders.

2 charged in vandalism of northwestern Indiana church

Jun 3, 2019
Video Still / WGN

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say two men are facing charges after they allegedly ransacked a northwestern Indiana church and left behind painted hate messages.

The Times reports Hammond police announced Saturday that 23-year-old Aaron J. Vanoppens and 22-year-old Nicholas D. Reding were charged with one count each of burglary and institutional criminal mischief. Court records Monday didn't list lawyers for the Hammond men.

Shutdown of road across Indiana-Illinois line irks drivers

May 31, 2019

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — The surprise shutdown of a road across the Indiana-Illinois state line due to deteriorating pavement conditions is irking drivers who use the busy route.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports Hammond, Indiana, on May 24 closed 136th Street, known locally as Boy Scout Road and as 134th Street on the Illinois side.

Police seek suspects in vandalism of NW Indiana church

May 30, 2019
Video Still / WGN

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Northwestern Indiana police are investigating after vandals ransacked a church's interior and left behind painted "hate messages."

Hammond police say Faith United Church of Christ's interior sustained significant damage after an unknown suspect or suspects broke into the Hammond church earlier this week.

An altar, an organ, restrooms, a display case and an office were damaged during the break-in and subsequent vandalism.

Nathan Holth / Historicbridges.org

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana scrap-metal dealer convicted of razing a historic railroad bridge and selling the metal contends he didn't receive a fair trial.

Kenneth Morrison of Whiting, Indiana, is seeking a new trial following his December conviction on a charge of interstate transportation of stolen goods.

$26 million cleanup starting on contaminated Indiana canal

May 21, 2019
Herbert Reynolds / Provided

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says a $26 million cleanup will begin this month of contamination on the Lake George Canal in northwestern Indiana.

The EPA says sediment will be dredged in Hammond and East Chicago, Indiana. Work is expected to be completed in 2020.

Indiana Black Legislative Caucus Chair Rep. Robin Shackleford (D-Indianapolis) says part of the 2019 town halls will focus on the importance of citizen advocacy. (Lauren Chapman/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

The Indiana Black Legislative Caucus will hold a series of town halls in communities across the state over the next few months.

Indiana murder suspect released on bond

Apr 22, 2019
Provided / Lake County Sheriff's Department

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A judge in northwest Indiana has granted bail to a 37-year-old man charged with murder after a police officer testified earlier this month that the fatal shooting was likely accidental.

The Times reports that Edgar Del Real was released from jail Thursday after a Lake County judge set bond at $5,000 cash.


HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A man has been sentenced to 29 years in prison for sending a pipe bomb that exploded at a northwestern Indiana post office, injuring a worker.

Eric Krieg of Munster, Indiana, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in December to making an unregistered destructive device and other charges.

Cop whose slurs were recorded quits Hammond

Mar 21, 2019
John J. Watkins / The Times

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A white police sergeant who spent 26 years with the Hammond department has resigned while under investigation for homophobic and racist comments while off duty at a bar.

Back in November, state and federal agencies cited a Hammond company for emitting twice the legal amount of lead. Now they say it’s put high levels of the toxic chemical cadmium into the air. But the company says it isn’t responsible for those excess emissions — and it doesn’t use cadmium.

Lake County Sheriff's Department

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — A man's murder trial in the 1980 shooting death of an off-duty northwestern Indiana police officer has been moved to this summer.

A Lake County judge on Wednesday rescheduled 68-year-old Pierre Catlett's trial from Feb. 11 to June 24.

The Post-Tribune reports Catlett's attorney sought the delay, citing the "voluminous" amount of discovery in the case.

Dead Swans With High Lead Levels Found In Hammond

Dec 17, 2018

A northwest Indiana birdwatcher found 18 dead swans in George Lake in Hammond, and six of their bodies had high levels of lead. 

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has denied a northwestern Indiana scrap-metal dealer's request to dismiss charges for allegedly demolishing a historic railroad bridge and selling the metal for $18,000.

The Post-Tribune reports that Kenneth Morrison's attorney argued in court documents that the grand jury didn't get an accurate picture of whether the city of Hammond or the railroad company owned the Monon Bridge.

EPA cites factory for toxic lead in Indiana

Nov 9, 2018

WHITING, Ind. (AP) — Federal and state environmental officials say a northwestern Indiana factory has repeatedly violated federal health standards by releasing alarmingly high concentrations of airborne lead in two cities.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management accused Whiting Metals of the violations Thursday, based on three months of air quality testing in Hammond and Whiting.

Jury acquits Indiana man accused of killing woman's dogs

Nov 1, 2018

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A jury has acquitted a northwestern Indiana man who authorities say stole two dogs that belonged to a woman he formerly dated and killed them .

The Times reports a jury on Wednesday cleared 24-year-old Anthony Priestas of two felony counts of killing a domestic animal.

Biden, Pence rally Indiana voters in fierce Senate race

Oct 16, 2018
Samantha Horton / IPB News

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden brought his blue-collar appeal to a Democratic stronghold of Indiana on Friday, heaping praise on Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly as the kind of guy who keeps his word, puts country over party — and would have his back in a street fight.

Around the same time, current Vice President Mike Pence was rallying for Donnelly's opponent, Mike Braun, in Indianapolis.