Portage Lakefront Park Open Again

May 25, 2021
Doug Ross, The Times / The Times

PORTAGE - The Portage Lakefront Park is once again open, just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

Indiana Dunes National Park administration told the "Times" the area had been closed for the installation of more than 1,000 tons of boulders to protect the area from erosion and provide safer access to the shoreline.

The effort was a collaboration between the Indiana Dunes National Park and the city of Portage.

Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz says the project will protect the important public resource as the lake levels rise and fall.

Courtesy of Google Maps

A former northwest Indiana union official was recently sentenced to more than four years in prison for extortion after an assault on non-union workers. It started when members of a local union found out work was being done without union workers in their area.

The "Times" file photo

HAMMOND-Two brothers who owned a trucking company and received $13,000 from former Portage Mayor James Snyder can now testify without the worry of prosecution.

The "Times" reports U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly on Monday granted immunity to Robert and Stephen Buha.

The immunity is good as long as the Buhas don't commit perjury, give false statements or fail otherwise to comply with the order.  It is not known when the Buhas will be called to testify.

Courtesy of Google Maps

The former president of the local Iron Workers Local 395 union in Portage, Indiana was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in a federal prison on Wednesday. 

Two leaders of the local Iron Workers union in Portage pleaded guilty to extortion conspiracy charges in federal court today for assaulting non-union workers at a church.

nps.gov / National Park Service


PORTAGE - The stability of the Portage Riverwalk Pavilion is on unstable ground due to erosion. Lakeshore Public Radio Show Host/Reporter Sharon Jackson spoke with Portage Mayor John Cannon about the condition of the pavilion and how the city is going to proceed 

Northwest Indiana mayor says lake waters threaten pavilion

Nov 13, 2019

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — A Northwest Indiana mayor said his police and fire departments want to close a city-managed lakefront pavilion that many people use to enter Indiana Dunes National Park.

Portage Mayor John Cannon said the rising waters of Lake Michigan threaten the $17 million Lakefront Park and Riverwalk.

Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz tells The Times that high waves on the lake breached a dune adjacent to the pavilion for the first time last week, and waves were seen rushing into the area again Monday.

Joshua Good / City of Portage

PORTAGE -  Several road projects are scheduled to come to a close in Portage.  Mayor John Cannon says weather permitting, they should be completed by around November 15th.

"We'll have Central Avenue East completely opened," Cannon says.  "We'll have Falling Timbers, which has been a long process, that'll be opened by November 1st and ready to go and then Willowcreek Road is just beautiful.  Landscape will be going in on it.  And we do have a gateway project at Crisman Road and Route 20, which is taking place and it should be done by November 15th."

Lakeshore Public Radio, in partnership with the Portage Chamber of Commerce, and the League of Women Voters of Porter County, hosted the 2019 City of Portage Mayoral Forum, on Monday, October 14, 2019 at Woodland Park, in Portage, IN.

The candidates participating in the debate were John Cannon (R) and Sue Lynch (D). Tom Maloney, of Lakeshore Public Radio, moderated the debate. Chris Nolte - Lakeshore Public Radio, Marc Chase - The Times, and Beckie Guffin - League of Women Voters of Porter County served as the panelists for the debate.

John Luke / The Times via AP

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana mayor accused state environmental officials Friday of waiting several days before notifying his city about a steel mill's spill of cyanide and another chemical that led to a fish kill and prompted the closure of beaches along Lake Michigan.

Ex-prep diving coach gets 4 years for sex with teens

Jul 10, 2019

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A former assistant diving coach at a northwest Indiana high school has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to having sex with two 15-year-old female students and keeping partially nude photographs of each girl on his cellphone.

Judge considering plea deal in Portage toddler's death

Jun 3, 2019

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A Portage man has tearfully told a judge he was using drugs and not making sound decisions when his girlfriend's 20-month-old daughter died as a result of neglect.

The Times reports 31-year-old Gary Hanney said he didn't seek proper medical attention when the toddler suffered significant injuries July 18, 2017. Hanney appeared before a judge Friday to plead guilty to a felony neglect count as part of a deal with prosecutors that would have them dismiss remaining charges.

Shooting on popular Chicago trail leaves 1 dead, 2 injured

May 29, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police are investigating a shooting on a popular walking and biking trail on the city's Northwest Side that left one man dead and two other people injured.

Police say the three were walking on the Bloomingdale Trail that's widely known as the 606 trail at about 12:10 a.m. Tuesday when three males asked about their gang affiliation and opened fire.

Ex-Indiana high school dive coach enters plea in sex case

May 8, 2019

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A former assistant dive coach at a northwest Indiana high school faces four years in prison after reaching a plea agreement in a sexual misconduct case involving two female students.

The Times reports 20-year-old Jatwone London of Portage entered guilty pleas Tuesday, admitting to having sex with the girls and possessing partially-nude photographs of them.

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Two young people are being credited with helping rescue more than three dozen rabbits that were apparently dumped in the woods in northwestern Indiana.

Johnny Frazier of Portage tells The Times he and his friends spotted "a bunch of eyes" peering at them last week as they pulled off a road near the east arm of the Little Calumet River, where they planned to go fishing.

Harbor Freight Realtor / Harbor Freight

PORTAGE-Harbor Freight Tools is opening a new store in Portage.  The grand opening is set for 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 1st  at 5972 US Highway 6.  According to a company news release, it will be Harbor Freight Tools' 24th store in Indiana.

The 15,000-square-foot store will stock a full selection of tools and accessories in categories including automotive, air and power tools, storage, outdoor power equipment, generators, welding supplies, shop equipment, hand tools and more. Harbor Freight’s hand tools come with a lifetime warranty.  

Indiana University Northwest Professor Emerita and local activist Ruth Needleman

PORTAGE - Members of the Northwest Indiana community will rally in solidarity in Portage on Tuesday to protest three separate Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids that recently took place in the Region.

Indiana University Northwest Professor Emerita and local activist Ruth Needleman says the rally is set for 5:30 p.m. at Mexico Lindo restaurant, at 5908 US Highway 6.   

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge has push backed the trial of an northwestern Indiana mayor facing bribery charges of accepting money in exchange for towing contracts.

The trial for Republican Portage Mayor James Snyder had been scheduled to begin Tuesday. But the judge granted the delay sought by the tow company owner's defense attorney because of a family medical issue. The trial is now set to begin in January.

Snyder attorney Thomas Dogan objected to the delay, saying the mayor was anxious for the trial to begin so he could clear his name.

Portage mayor wants information blocked from federal trial

Sep 24, 2018

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — An indicted northwestern Indiana mayor is maintaining that prosecutors used a confidential informant to improperly know they had more time to investigate the case.

Attorneys for Republican Portage Mayor James Snyder argue in federal court filings that prosecutors found out Snyder's previous lawyer wouldn't be ready for a January 2017 trial on corruption charges. Snyder's attorneys argue that action was "tantamount to cheating" and want a judge to limit prosecutors' ability to use information they obtained after that time.


Three months have passed since the deadly school shooting at Stoneman Douglass High School in Parkland, Florida and the nation is, yet again, faced with another set of school shootings.  The most recent shooting, happening at Noblesville West Middle School.


Heather Eidson / The Times

PORTAGE, Ind. (AP) — Environmental groups are urging northwest Indiana residents to comment on a proposed federal settlement over a U.S. Steel plant's discharging of a potentially carcinogenic chemical that entered a Lake Michigan tributary.

The Times reports that the public comment period on the proposed settlement ends June 6. Save the Dunes and the Ogden Dunes Environmental Advisory Board will host a public meeting Wednesday about the settlement.

Wes Aldridge

CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Police departments in northwestern Indiana are turning to key fobs as a way to unlock doors at local schools electronically so officers can quickly enter if there's an emergency.

The Times reports that the newly implemented system in Crown Point gives officers access to all doors at every school in the district. Officers will also be issued a school ID card.

Last weekend, Portage wrestler's Jacob Moran (106 lbs.) and Kris Rumph (138) won individual state titles in Indianapolis. Listen up as Moran and Rumph tell their stories on life during and after winning a state title. Plus Indians coach Leroy Vega joins us to talk about coaching a state champion (s) for the first time in his career.

Today on Lakeshore Sports 219, we take a look at the Lake Station boys basketball win over Portage last night. Listen in during our post game interview with Eagles coach Bob Burke.

Senate Education Committee Delays School Finance Bill Vote

Feb 15, 2018

An Indiana Senate committee has decided to postpone voting on a controversial school financials bill because of its effect on Muncie and Gary schools. Some committee members say the bill too radically changes plans lawmakers approved last session.

Last year, Rep. Tim Brown (R-Crawfordsville) singled out Gary and Muncie schools for their financial debts, putting emergency management processes in place.

READ MORE: Can Gary Schools Be Saved By A State Takeover?

Portage Police Department

PORTAGE - Schools were on lock down and police responded for several hours Thursday morning when the department received reports from several people regarding two men walking down the road with firearms.  Portage Police Chief Troy Williams says several calls came into the Portage Police Department at about 7:40 a.m. reporting sightings of two men walking near Fegely Middle School.

Tax issues concerning short-term rentals – such as Airbnb – won’t get solved in the 2018 session.

Senate Rejects Amendment To Sunday Sales Bill

Jan 18, 2018

The Indiana Senate soundly rejected Thursday a change to legislation that legalizes Sunday alcohol carryout sales.

The bill eliminates the ban on Sunday sales but would only allow alcohol carryout on the seventh day between 12 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sen. Karen Tallian’s (D-Portage) proposed amendment would remove that restriction and make Sunday sales like every other day – 7 a.m. to 3 a.m.

DCS Chief, Holcomb Disagree On Agency Funding Levels

Dec 18, 2017


Indiana Department of Child Services Director Mary Beth Bonaventura says the well-being of Hoosier children has been put at risk because of steps taken by Governor Eric Holcomb’s administration.

Bonaventura’s sharp criticisms came in her resignation letter, delivered to Holcomb last week.

A revenue forecast released Monday predicts Indiana will collect hundreds of millions of dollars less in taxes than previously expected over the next year and a half. But legislative fiscal leaders say it’s not time to panic.