Porter County


PORTER COUNTY - Porter County will spend $15.5 million in grant funding to improve or reconstruct 17 bridges through 2025.

Officials told the "Post Tribune" on Tuesday that of the bridges being repaired, 11 are a part of the top 15 bridges in Porter County that need replacement.

Commissioner Jeff Good said securing the $15.5 million in grant funding to improve Porter County's bridges is historic.

The county is responsible for maintaining 132 bridges, and many of them are along major thoroughfares in Porter County's cities and towns. 

PORTER COUNTY - A county judge cited a conflict, but didn't elaborate on what it was, in his decision to decline on hearing a civil dispute over a local affordable housing project.

The "Times" reports Porter Superior Court Judge Mike Fish, who took over for retired Judge Roger Bradford, said in his order of recusal that the two sides in the dispute have seven days to agree on a new judge or a special judge will be appointed.

The case is JJD Properties versus Valparaiso Board of Zoning Appeals, Housing Opportunities and Neighbors Corp.

Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Wednesday he will reimpose some COVID-19 restrictions on counties failing to control spread of the virus.

Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County

PORTER COUNTY - The Recycling and Waste Reduction District of Porter County is hosting a Household Hazardous Waste Collection on Saturday, October 10th from 9am to 2pm at the Porter County Expo Center and Fairgrounds at 215 E Division Rd in Valparaiso.

The district will also be collecting used tires as well as clean and dry plastic bags during this event.

Typically tires are collected in early spring, but due to Covid-19, tire collection will take place at the October 10th Household Hazardous Waste event.

Residents may bring up to 4 tires under 20 inches for free.

Screenshot of Zoom call

A seven-county region of northwest Indiana was designated a “21st Century Talent Region” by the state. It’s the eighth region to be recognized for having local groups work together on a shared workforce development agenda. 

Region COVID-19 Numbers Week of August 17th

Aug 31, 2020
Indiana State Department of Health / Indiana State Department of Health

NORTHWEST INDIANA-The Indiana State Department of Health reports there are 90 new positive cases of COVID-19 in Northwest Indiana.

On the lighter side, there have been no additional COVID-19 deaths.

The Northwest Indiana death total numbers from Friday indicate there have been 296 in Lake County, 43 in Porter County, 31 in LaPorte County, 10 in Newton County and two in Jasper County.

New deaths were reported between Saturday and Sunday, according to the "Times."

Porter County, Indiana

The Porter County Health Department is identifying metrics local health officials will use to advise school districts on what instructional models to implement, based on coronavirus outbreaks.

The "Times" reports a Porter County memo outlines a three-tier threshold for county positivity rates using a seven-day period.  A county average of 0-5% indicates schools should operate in person; at 6-12%, schools should operate in-person or with a hybrid model; and at 13% or higher, districts should pursue remote learning.

EPA Doesn't Plan To Tighten Standards For Smog

Jul 15, 2020
Marco Verch / Flickr

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to pass on another opportunity to tighten air pollution standards. In April, the agency proposed not changing the standards for particle pollution. It announced on Monday it also doesn’t plan to tighten the standards for ozone — commonly known as smog.

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Porter and LaPorte county fairs have been canceled because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fair manager Don Stoner told the "Times" the decision was made due to the risk involved and safety precautions that would have to be imposed.  He also doesn't believe with the social nature of the fair, being a time when friends get together, that social distancing would be possible.

The LaPorte County Fair, was scheduled for July 12-18 and is Indiana’s oldest county fair.

PORTER COUNTY - All Porter County employees will be tested for COVID-19 before the county reopens for business, which includes government buildings opening to the public.

The "Times" reports the tests begin Friday.  Franciscan Alliance will be conducting the tests, up to 90 per day and results will be available in 24 hours.  

The top priority will be given to first responders, including 911 dispatchers.

Ludo Raedts / Wikimedia Commons

Some parts of Indiana that have struggled with pollution are now meeting federal air quality standards. That’s according to three years of data from state and federal environmental agencies. Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency say that’s good news for people with asthma and other lung conditions. 

PORTER COUNTY - Currently 33 inmates and two workers at the Porter County Jail have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Monday  (4/20).  Sheriff David Reynolds told Lakeshore Public Radio that the jail started a protocol for preparing for the Coronavirs in March when administration became aware of it and its eventual arrival in Northwest Indiana.

Reynolds said everyone who was arrested who didn't bond out of jail, had their temperatures taken and then were held for 14 days under quarantine.


PORTER COUNTY - Another effect of COVID-19, besides wiping out sports, concerts, basic human interaction and everything else we hold dear, is lower crime, as least in Porter County anyway.   

Sheriff David Reynolds told Lakeshore Public Radio that the number of inmates at the jail is down dramatically.

"Our jail population right now is lower than it's been since like the mid 1980s," Reynolds says.

Indiana virus death toll now 139, total cases near 5,000

Apr 6, 2020
Alan Mbathi / IPB News

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — State health officials say 12 more COVID-19 deaths have driven Indiana’s death toll from the coronavirus pandemic to 139, while the total number of cases approaches 5,000, The Indiana State Department of Health said Monday that with 536 new cases confirmed, the total number of Indiana residents known to have the coronavirus has risen to 4,944.

Central Indiana had more than half of the new cases. Marion County, home to Indianapolis, had the most new cases at 204, while adjacent Hamilton County had 35.

NORTHWEST INDIANA - Schools, government organizations and businesses are all taking precautions and utilizing preemptive measures to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). The following closures have been announced. 

Josh Good / City of Portage

PORTER COUNTY - The countywide upgrade to the Porter County Public Safety Communication System is now online.  Portage Mayor John Cannon told Lakeshore Public Radio that the system was officially switched over on Tuesday (October 8th) and so-far, so-good.

"It's worked overnight and all day today perfectly, so that's what we were waiting for," Cannon says.

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.

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A northwestern Indiana midwife accused of practicing without a license has been ordered to cease her work following a lawsuit by the state in the wake of the death of an unborn child.

The Times reports Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper ruled Monday on an injunction involving Julie Lentz. She appeared without an attorney and said little on her own behalf at the hearing.

Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune

Today:   Scott Pelath with the Kankakee River Basin Commission talks about the history of the Kankakee and Yellow Rivers in northwest Indiana, including the flooding issues that climaxed in a bill that is now law that will re-make the multi-county government organization tasked with overseeing the rivers.  A new commission, smaller in the number of members, will review a proposed long-range plan and will be able to assess property owners along the rivers in eight counties, to pay for studies and to obtain federal funds for flood control projects.   

17-year-old charged with murder in 2 Porter County deaths

Mar 5, 2019

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — A 17-year-old Indiana youth faces murder charges for allegedly killing two other teens in what police say an informant told them was a drug deal gone bad.

Porter County prosecutors say Connor R. Kerner of Valparaiso is charged as an adult in the deaths of 18-year-old Thomas Grill of Cedar Lake and 19-year-old Molley Lanham of St. John. He was ordered held without bond Monday after preliminary not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas Carter and Trooper Jason Pratt and K-9 “Rogue.”Credit Indiana State PoliceEdit | Remove

NORTHWEST INDIANA - There’s Two New Dogs in Town, police dogs, for the Indiana State Police.  The department recently held a graduation ceremony at the Indiana State Police (ISP) Museum in Indianapolis, for the ISP K-9 Class and K-9 officers. Nikan and Rogue are partnered with Troopers Justin Hansen and Jason Pratt respectively.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana House Democrats picked up at least one seat in this week's elections even as they waited Thursday for additional results that could break the chamber's long-running Republican supermajority.

Republicans have held supermajorities of more than two-thirds in both the state House and the Senate since the 2012 election, allowing them to pass bills even if all Democrats boycotted votes. Democrats needed to pick up eight seats in the Senate to break its GOP supermajority, but got only one.

Porter County Seeks FBI Probe of Election Woes

Nov 7, 2018

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a northwestern Indiana county plagued by vote counting delays are asking the FBI to investigate alleged violations of state election law.

Porter County's commissioners asked the FBI on Wednesday to investigate "scores of alleged violations of Indiana Election Law submitted by poll workers, voters and the public" that the commissioners had received.

Porter County May Delay Election Results Again

Nov 7, 2018

VALPARAISO, Ind. (AP) — Officials in a northwestern Indiana county plagued by vote counting delays say the release of General Election results may face yet another delay.

Vote counting began Wednesday morning in Porter County after a mix of problems, including the need for 12 county polling sites to stay open late Tuesday after those sites failed to open on time. Officials initially said vote counting was expected to be completed by early Wednesday evening.

Susan Jones / Justice for Braxson

PORTER COUNTY - A Hebron mother is dedicating her life to getting justice for her son.
Susan Jones, who was a registered nurse professionally, says her son, Braxson, was shaken by the boy's father.  She says the child sustained permanent injuries and his life is now forever ruined.  

Jones says she will never forget the date it happened, July 24th, 2016 while she was working an overnight shift at the hospital.  Jones says her ex-husband, Curtis Jones had severely abused their son and called her at work when the child was suffering from physical problems.

HAMMOND, Ind. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a former northwestern Indiana police officer allegedly embezzled more than $180,000 from a local Fraternity Order of Police lodge.

Forty-two-year-old Lawrence W. LaFlower of Valparaiso faces one count of wire fraud. He resigned in May from the Porter County Sheriff's Department, where he had been a lieutenant.

LaFlower allegedly embezzled more than $180,000 over five years for his own personal use while he was treasurer for the Ewalt Jahnz FOP Lodge No. 165.

The video board at Evansville's Ford Center shows Indiana Republican Party Chair Kyle Hupfer as he speaks to his party's convention. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)
Brandon Smith

Indiana Republicans approved a party platform at their convention Saturday that defines marriage as between a man and a woman.

Tony Martin, Times Media / Provided by Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum

NORTHWEST INDIANA - The Northwest Indiana Forum, the seven-county economic development organization is taking part in creating a regional economic development strategic playbook.

The organization serves Lake, Porter, LaPorte, Jasper, Newton, Pulaski and Starke Counties.  Heather Ennis, President and CEO of the Northwest Indiana Forum, says the development of a regional economic development plan will work to serve all the partners in a more combined fashion.

IDEM Predicts High Ozone In Indiana On Thursday

May 23, 2018

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management predicts high levels of ozone for most of the state on Thursday May 23. This means children, seniors, and anyone with a heart or lung condition should avoid strenuous work or exercise outside. 

People are said to experience food insecurity when they do not have access to enough food for all family members to live a healthy, active life. An annual report measures the rate of food insecurity in Indiana slightly under the national average, almost 14 percent of the population. 

The county where the Map the Meal Gap report found the highest rate of food insecurity is Marion County, at 18.3 percent. The county with the lowest measured rate is Hamilton County, at 8.8 percent.