2019 was an ireful
year in Duneland.
Chesterton--but in Porter, Liberty and Pine townships, Valpo, and Portage
too--folks flocked to public meetings and Facebook alike to unload on policy
makers surprised, perhaps, to find that their constituents really, really
don’t want duplexes or storage units in their backyards.
Don’t want a
Dollar General in their neighborhood.
Don’t want food
trucks at the European Market.
Don’t want a
couple of dozen mature trees cleared at Dogwood Park.
Don’t want a
tattoo parlor on South Calumet Road.
backwash from a clogged drainage ditch pooling on their property.
train horns blasting into their bedrooms.
luxury apartments on the site of the old Splash Down Dunes.
Don’t want golf
balls from the Brassie hitting their homes.
Meanwhile, on the
Chesterton Tribune’s Facebook page, a small cadre of the usual
suspects basked in their Schadenfreude while unburdening themselves
of a bellyful of beefs: a lack of leadership in Chesterton; the
proliferation of nursing homes and senior living facilities at the expense
of local shopping opportunities; the announcement, touted in May by Town
Manager Bernie Doyle but never materializing, of a major commercial
development on the property of the shuttered Kmart.
It may well be,
then, that--up to their eyeballs in this toxic Zeitgeist--Chesterton
Town Council members Jim Ton, R-1st, and Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd, should
count themselves lucky they faced no opposition in this year’s municipal
primary and general elections. Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela did,
however. So did council members Dane Lafata, D-3rd, and Emerson DeLaney,
R-5th. All three were handily defeated.
The anger wasn’t
limited to Chesterton, Porter, or Pearson Road residents, though. Nor was it
limited to the public at large.
In Pine Township,
Assessor Tammy Watkins and the Township Board can barely stand to be in the
same room together, after Watkins tried to bludgeon board members into
rubber-stamping a fire protection contract with the Pines FD, whose chief is
her husband and assistant chief her son. The board refused, she awarded the
contract anyway, and the board went to court.
Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, actually leapt from his seat at a meeting
to confront an atheist clamoring for a permit for an event on the Courthouse
Election Board J.J. Stankiewicz was caught on video screaming at Porter
Clerk Jessica Bailey. Stankiewicz, panned by everybody, quickly resigned.
The Duneland School
Board severed its relationship with the Damon Run Conservancy District after
Valparaiso City Utilities acquired Damon Run’s sanitary sewer infrastructure
and at year’s end was seeking--along with Porter Regional Hospital--to save
some money by connecting to Chesterton’s system. Damon Run’s residential
customers, wondering what in the hell just happened, are now looking over
their shoulders, waiting for the City of Valparaiso to land-grab them.
The Portage Port
Authority and the Marquette Yacht Club, among others, floundering in 3,000
stinking fish killed by ArcelorMittal when it released cyanide and ammonia
into the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, raged and gnashed and
wasted no time in filing notice of their intent to sue the company.
ArcelorMittal apologized for the spill but what it didn’t bother to
do--according to IDEM--was issue timely notifications of the Aug. 11
discharge or of an earlier one, on Aug. 4.
On the Bright Side
The CHS gymnastics
team won its second consecutive state championship, while the school’s other
athletic and academic teams continued their sterling record of high
achievement and superb performance. Voters, in a May 7 referendum,
overwhelmingly cast their ballots in favor of renewing the seven-year
property-tax supplement to help the Duneland Schools make ends meet.
The Porter Town
Council finally approved an expenditure for new playground equipment at Kids
Cove Park. Volunteers gathered twice in Coffee Creek Park to clear brush and
tend the boardwalks.
and Burns Harbor all accomplished major re-paving projects funded by
matching Community Crossings state infrastructure grants.
Among those passing
this year in Duneland: Charlotte and Herb Read, two of the Dunes’ greatest
advocates; Bob Dunbar, civic-mindedness encoded in his DNA; and Ray Poparad,
the Rock of Burns Harbor.
The New Year opens
with scores of Dunelanders--employees of the National Park Service, U.S.
Geological Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, and other
agencies--furloughed after the government shut down on Dec. 22. The 112-unit
Residences of Coffee Creek senior living facility opens with a
CHS gymnastics team
beats LaPorte 110.15-89.20 in its Duneland Athletic Conference opener. U.S.
Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, releases his schedule for his 2019 town forums;
for the first time in 20 years at least, Visclosky will not hold one in
Chesterton. Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik reports that property-tax
rates for all but six taxing districts will increase in 2019, none of the
six in Duneland. The Duneland School Board welcomes Interim Superintendent
Judith Malasto and newly elected member Alayna Lightfoot Pol.
CHS boys swim team
remains undefeated with 129-57 DAC win over Lake Central. The Porter Town
Council seeks quotes for an engineering firm to design an accessible ramp at
Lake Pratt. CHS boys soccer head coach Lucas Sabedra is named United Soccer
Coaches Association Coach of the Year for the large schools in the Great
Lakes Region, after the Trojans won their first state title with a 21-0-2
season in 2018.
federal employees are due to miss their first paycheck since the government
shut down on Dec. 22; more than half of them are still working. CHS
wrestlers Brock Ellis and Evan Bates win individual titles as the team
finishes fourth at the DAC meet. Franciscan Health Michigan City moves
patients from its old hospital to the new facility at 3500 Franciscan Way.
The Westchester Public Library Board agrees to close the Thomas Branch at 6
p.m. on Fridays, beginning in May.
The Chesterton Town
Council endorses a liquor license application under the Riverfront District
designation for Las Mamacitas, a new restaurant planned in the space
formerly occupied by Volstead and Popolano’s, at 225 S. Calumet Road. Capt.
Timothy Manteuffel, a 16-year veteran of the Porter County Sheriff’s Police,
is named Sheriff Dave Reynolds’ new Chief Deputy. The Duneland YMCA, Red Cup
Cafe, Val’s Famous Pizza, and Don Quijote begin offering deals for federal
employees left without a paycheck during the government shut-down. Report:
building activity in the Town of Chesterton falls by 38 percent in 2018.
Migratory Bird Sanctuary reports several incidents of vandalism. The
Duneland Resale Shop, the Westchester Township Trustee’s Office, and local
Duneland clergy work together to assist federal employees impacted by the
government shut-down. Report released by the Indiana Department of
Education: Duneland School Corporation’s state and federal waiver graduation
rates are the lowest of all Porter County public schools.
Madeline Rearick wins the 98-pound state wrestling title at the Girls
Wrestling State Tournament sponsored by the Indiana High School Wrestling
Coaches Association. Jackie Ruge-Perkins is named the new President and CEO
of Porter Bank.
CHS students Gavin
Dooley, Sarah Harmon, and Libby Gibson perform with the prestigious 2019
Indiana American String Teachers Associations’s All-State Orchestra. The CHS
boys swim team wins its 23rd consecutive DAC title. The CHS wrestling team
wins its fifth consecutive sectional title, with six individual titles. The
No. 2 CHS gymnastics team posts the state’s highest score this season with a
114.80 to win the CHS Invitational.
The CHS debate team
comes within half a point of extending its state championship streak to six
consecutive titles, after finishing second to West Lafayette. The federal
government shut-down ends on Jan. 22, the longest in history. Two
exhibits--“Quilting Gone Wrong” and Frontline Foundation Inc.’s “Unbroken
and (A)live”--will open at the Chesterton Art Center. Attorney Connor Nolan
is named a new parter at Harris Welsh & Lukmann.
Tribune announces that it will not publish on Jan. 30 due to sub-zero
temperatures and bitter wind chills in the forecast; the main reason is the
danger posed to walking route carriers; meanwhile, the South Shore commuter
line, the U.S. Postal Service, Republic Services, and Westchester Public
Library all suspend service because of the cold. U.S. Steel Corporation
announces a net profit in 2018 of $1.115 billion.
The Izaak Walton
League of America presents its 2018 Honor Roll Award to the Friends of the
Indiana Dunes. The CHS girls swim team wins 10 of 12 events in sectional
competition. The CHS girls basketball team loses its sectional opener to
Michigan City 29-24. The No. 1 CHS gymnastic team beats No. 2 Valparaiso
The Duneland School
Board votes unanimously to put to the voters, in the form of a referendum in
the May 7 primary municipal election, the question of whether to renew for
another seven years the supplemental property-tax levy passed by a slim
margin in 2012. ArcelorMittal reports a net income in 2018 of $4.56 billion.
The Duneland School
Board decides to reduce to three the number of eLearning Days during the
2019-20 academic year. CHS wrestlers Evan Bates and Brock Ellis both win
titles at semistate competition. The CHS girls swim teamtakes ninth at the
primary election in Duneland on May 7 will feature only a single contested
race: that between Chesterton Town Council Member Dane Lafata, D-3rd, and
challenger Robert Allison. The National Park Service reports that amended
plans for Pavilion Partners LLC’s remodeling of the Pavilion at Indiana
Dunes State Park do not trigger a conversion of use under the Land
and Water Conservation Act. The South Shore commuter line suspends service
and the Duneland School Corporation cancels classes after an ice storm
leaves roadways glazed and perilous.
The Chesterton Town
Council approves the purchase of in-car and body cameras for all police
patrol officers, at a total five-year cost of $212,900. The Porter Town
Council agrees to sell an extra 100 parking permits for Porter Beach, for a
total of 700, when they go on sale March 11. The No. 1 CHS gymnastics team
beats No. 4 Portage 112.575-111.675 to close its undefeated dual meet
The Indiana Office
of Utility Consumer Counselor opposes NIPSCO’s proposed 12-percent electric
rate hike. The Duneland Schools administration, in the first of four public
information sessions on the May 7 referendum, responds to pushback from
property-tax payers. The Chesterton Tribune raises its subscription
rate, for the first time since 1996, from $6 per month to $8.
National Lakeshore is officially re-named Indiana Dunes National Park, the
61st in the country, as part of the Fiscal Year 2019 Omnibus Appropriations
legislation. CHS wrestler Evan Bates finishes third at 182 pounds and Brock
Ellis fourth at 152 pounds at the state championship. The CHS boys swim team
wins its 21st consecutive sectional title. The No. 1 CHS gymnastics team
wins the DAC title.
Association of Fire Fighters Local 4600, representing the career
firefighters of the Chesterton FD, files a lawsuit against the town in
federal court, alleging among other things that the town failed to
compensate firefighters appropriately for nine years of overtime and failed
to negotiate their 2019 contract in good faith. The Duneland School Board
realizes months after the fact that, in August 2018, it voted to close the
district to transfer students without knowing it was doing so.
reports a net loss of $65.6 million, including $888 million in expenses
associated with the disastrous natural-gas explosions on Sept. 13, 2018, in
Greater Lawrence, Mass., in a system owned by one of its subsidiaries. The
CHS debate team qualifies six for the national tournament in June at the
Northwest Indiana District Tournament: Azeez Lakhani, Emily Krygoske, Grace
Whah, Sofia Winski, Gianna Galante, and Madi Simms.
Olympic team finishes runner-up in the second-year division at the state
championship. The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission once again continues a
public hearing on John Nekus’ proposed planned unit development behind the
Chesterton Post Office and east of Westchester South, as neighbors
increasingly complain about density, drainage, and traffic.
The CHS boys swim
team finishes fourth at the state championship. The CHS gymnastics team wins
the sectional title, beating second-place finisher Lake Central
114.675-110.825. HomeSnacks.net names Chesterton as one of the “10 Best
Places to Raise a Family in Indiana.” The Duneland School Board commences
its search for a new superintendent, following the abrupt resignation of
Ginger Bolinger in December.
The Porter Fire
Department’s new K-9 partner, Jakob, handled by Fire Chief Jay
Craig--successor to the late great Harley--has his first find, after a
Liberty Township boy went missing and the Porter County Search & Rescue Team
was mustered. The CHS speach team finishes second in sectional competition.
The Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club donates $1,000 to Rebuilding Together
At a special
meeting of the Duneland School Board, eight speak in favor of Duneland’s
being an open school district and six in favor of its being a closed
district. The CHS boys basketball team beats Valparaiso 35-30 to win the
sectional title, the first time in 32 years. The No. 1 CHS gymnastics team
beats runner-up Lake Central 114.45-110.875 to win the regional title.
students win 24 medals at ISSMA’s Solo & Ensemble Event for Winds,
Percussion, and Strings in Indianapolis. Porter County Animal Shelter
Director Toni Bianchi reports record levels of adoptions. Report: in January
the Chesterton Building Department issued permits for a new restaurant, Las
Mamacitas at 225 S. Calumet Road; a farm-to-table eatery, Fuel, at 420
Broadway; and a craft beer pub, 219 Taproom, 109 S. Third St.
The CHS Alumni
Association is launched; its non-profit status is pending. CMS eighth-grader
Riley Hawksworth is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2019
National Geographic GeoBee’s Indiana state competition.
The CHS speech and
debate team qualifies seven more to compete in the National Speech and
Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas, in June: Rebecca Mueller, Lily Roberts,
Anekah Fish, Indigo Loving, Anna Sanders, Alan Stirling, and Max Winski. The
Chesterton Park Board announces that the skate park off South 15th Street
will be open for the 2019 season.
The Chesterton Park
Board names an assistant superintendent, for the first time ever: Shane
Griffin, who comes to the Park Department from Indiana Dunes National Park.
The CHS cheer team places first in the High School Varsity Advanced Co-Ed
Division at the MCDA Cheer and Dance Championship at Hobart High School.
Intermediate School fifth-grader Michael Shumate is one of the semifinalists
eligible to compete in the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee’s Indiana state
competition. The CMS Drama Club will present two one-act comedies, This
is Your Brain on Social Media and 10 Ways to Survive the Apocalypse.
CHS gymnastics team
wins its second consecutive state championship, beating runner-up Fort Wayne
Carroll 113.875-110.975; the team is the first since 1981 to produce a
winner in all four individual events, with Jordan Bush finishing second in
the all-around and winning the Mildred M. Ball Mental Attitude Award. CHS
boys basketball team drops its opener in regional competition to No. 9 Penn
The Duneland YMCA
announces the purchase of the former Chesterton Montessori School facility,
200 E. Burdick Road, to be the new home of the Y’s early learning programs.
The consolidated Chesterton and Porter 911 dispatch center goes live with
new radio equipment.
CHS seniors Bella
Nash, Jon Sumita, and Anna Parkinson are selected to be speech finalists at
the 33rd annual Japanese Language Speech Contest at the Japanese Information
Center at Japan’s Chicago consultate. The CHS speech team finishes fourth
overall at the state finals; eight of the team’s entries advanced to final
rounds, and four of those placed in the top three.
Former U.S. Senator
Birch Bayh, author of the Title IX law, dies at home in Indianapolis at 91.
Special Olympian Jerritt Covington, 19, of Liberty Township, swims for two
gold medals at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi, United Arab
Emirates. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and Indiana
American Water Company reach a settlement in the water company’s pending
rate case, under which it agrees to additional annual revenues of less than
half the amount it originally sought.
Election Board President J.J. Stankiewicz resigns his seat after a video
emerges of him shouting at Porter County Clerk Jessica Bailey; 15 county
officials subsequently called Stankiewicz’s behavior unacceptable. The
Chesterton Utility Service Board recommends a rate hike of 3 percent, which
would increase the average Chesterton residential customer’s bimonthly bill
from $85.84 to $88.42. The Porter County Commissioners approve permanent
increases to poll workers’ pay, in an effort to attract more poll workers
and to keep pace with other counties.
a tax abatement from the Burns Harbor Town Council related to $163 million
in capital improvements which the company plans over the next three to four
years. CHS basketball player Jake Wadding, only the fifth player in the
school’s history to eclipse 1,000 career points, is named to the Indy Star
Indiana Boys Junior All-Star Team.
A report released
by the Indiana Secretary of State’s Office calls for the resignation of
Democrat Director of Voter Registration Kathy Kuzuszek and Election Board
Member J.J. Stankiewicz and blames the 2018 general election fiasco on a
toxic atmosphere which they and Porter County Clerk Karen Martin fostered.
The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission heeds neighbors’ remonstrations and
split-votes 5-2 to forward John Nekus’ post office planned unit development
to the Town Council with an unfavorable recommendation.
The Burns Harbor
Redevelopment Commission dedicates additional funding to staff the town’s
ambulance. For the first time in its history, the Duneland Swim Club takes
second place at the Indiana Age Group Championship Meet in Indianapolis.
United Way of
Porter County taps attorney Todd Leeth as its 2019-20 campaign chair. The
CHS softball team wins its season opener by crushing Hobart 16-1. The Town
of Porter is awarded a 75/25 $623,697.30 Community Crossings state
infrastructure grant for paving.
backtracks on his attempt to gut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative of
$300 million. Residents of the Pere Marquette subdivision, remonstrating
before the Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals, speak against the proposed
construction of four storage units at 100 Brown Ave.; Richard Neal needs a
variance for the buildings because his company’s main office is located not
at 100 Brown Ave. but elsewhere. The CHS boys baseball team wins its season
opener against Hammond Gavit 2-0.
student Anna Parkinson wins the the Bonjin-sha Award and Isbella Nash the
Illinois Association of Teachers of Japanese Award at the 33rd annual
Japanese Speech Contest in Chicago. WDSO-FM 88.3 holds its 29th annual
Radiothon at CHS during High School Radio Week. At a third information
session on the property-tax referendum hosted by the Duneland School
Corporation, more supporters of the referendum attend than opponents.
that the re-surfacing of U.S. 12 from Ind. 249 to roughly Ogden Dunes is
about to begin; the project is expected to conclude by the end of June. The
Chesterton Town Council votes unanimously to reject John Nekus’ proposed
post office planned unit development. The Town of Chesterton and the
Duneland School Corporation split the $6,000 cost of installing
button-activated LED warning flashers for the crosswalk at the intersection
of West Porter Ave. and South 11th Street.
The CHS girls track
team opens its season with an impressive 68-64 DAC victory over Crown Point.
The Horton Children’s Center at Sunset Hill Farm County Park will be ready
in time for summer camps and the Spring Out to Sunset Festival. Early voting
begins in the run-up to the municipal primary election on May 7.
Chamber of Commerce voices its support of the Duneland Schools property-tax
referendum on the ballot in the municipal primary election on May 7. The
Chesterton Town Council eyes the purchase of the house at the southeast
corner of Porter Ave. and South Calumet Road, so as to acquire right-of-way
for reconfiguring the intersection. The CHS Student Government is recognized
for the fourth consecutive year as a 2019 Natonal Gold Council of Excellence
by the National Association of Student Councils.
The Burns Harbor
Fire Department unveils its new engine at a wetting ceremony and
ribbon-cutting. The CHS girls tennis team opens its dual meet season with a
loss to Plymouth; the team’s only winner is Peyton Martinson. The
Westchester Public Library Board authorizes Director Lisa Stamm to seek an
additional appropriation for improvements, including new sidewalks at the
Thomas branch. The CHS boys track team takes eight titles and the girls
track team four titles at the Chesterton Relays. The CHS boys golf team wins
its first title of the season with a 13-stroke victory at the Michigan City
Court Judge Jeffrey Clymer rejects a motion for a change of venue by the
accused murderer of Nicole Gland, Christopher Dillard. The Indiana Public
Access Counselor releases its formal opinion on the Duneland School Board’s
inadvertent closing of the school system to transfer students in August
2018: the board was “asleep at the wheel.” The CHS baseball team splits a
double-header against Valparaiso, winning the first game 2-1 but losing the
The Burns Harbor
Town Council approves a tax abatement for ArcelorMittal in advance of $163
million woth of capital improvements. A Discovery Charter School student
makes what the Porter Police Department determined to be a non-credible
threat to “shoot up the school”; at the time of the PPD’s report, the
student was not attending classes. Report: Chesterton First United Methodist
Church is in talks to sell the Methodist Activity Center (The MAC), 135
Lincoln Ave., to the new operator of the Chesterton Montessori School.
NIPSCO awards the
Town of Chesterton an environmental grant for a riparian restoration project
at Coffee Creek Park; and one to the non-profit which administers the
Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary for an Eagle Scout project. The
162-unit StoryPoint Senior Living facility on Dickinson Road officially
opens its doors.
The Chesterton Town
Council votes unanimously to develop a request for proposals for an
engineering feasibility study of a railroad quiet zone in the Downtown.
Neighbors as well as the Westchester Public Library push back loudly against
the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s notion of expanding the European Market’s
footprint to make room for food trucks.
The Chesterton Town
Council unanimously votes to approve a 3.0-percent increase in sanitary
sewer rates for Chesterton customers; a 5.22-percent increase for the Town
of Porter; and a 5.21-percent increase for the Indian Boundary Conservancy
District. The Chesterton Town Council eyes the possibility of widening the
sidewalk on the south side of Broadway between Second and Third streets, to
create space for al fresco dining and shade-making trees. The CMS
band program is the recipient of ISSMA’s All-Music Award for the 2018-19
The Duneland School
Board once again votes to close the district to transfer students, this time
not by accident but on purpose. Over 100 people attend the final of four
information sessions hosted by the Duneland School Corporation on the
property-tax referendum on the ballot in the municipal election on May 7.
The Porter Town
Council instructs Park Director Brian Bugajski to begin improvements at
Hawthorne Park, including replacing a pair of HVAC units at the Community
Building and installing new basketball courts. The Indiana Court of Appeals
upholds the Department of Natural Resources’ authority to hold controlled
deer hunts at state parks; the Center for Wildlife Ethics Inc. had
challenged that authority. Richard Neal withdraws his petition before the
Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance to build four storage
units at 100 Brown Ave.; but will build them anyway, after establishing an
office on site.
LLC resumes construction on the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park.
Motorcyclist Douglas Coslet, 33, of Chesterton, dies in an accident on
Burdick Road in Westchester Township. Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar dies at
87 at a hospital in Virginia.
volunteers put their backs into the annual Rebuilding Together Duneland, at
homes and civic sites throughout the community. The Chesterton Street
Department observes Arbor Day by planting a tree at South 15th Street and
Lincoln Ave. Tiger Martial Arts claims several gold, silver, and bronze
medals at the 2019 Samurang Games in Palatine, Ill.
The Porter County
Commission-ers award bids for three major re-paves partially funded by
Community Crossings state infrastructure grants: North Calumet Ave. from the
Valparaiso city limits to U.S. 6; Meridian Road from the Valpo city limits
to U.S. 6; and Sturdy Road from the railroad crossing to U.S. 30. The
Duneland School Corporation celebrates its 50th anniversary, after the
consolidation of the school facilities in Westchester, Liberty, and Jackson
townships and a portion of Pine Township in 1969.
A micropantry built
by Angel Berg, 18, of Porter, opens outside the Porter Police station, 50
Francis St., to give food-insecure Dunelanders 24-hour access to
nonperishable food items. Porter County Clerk Jessica Bailey announces that
she’s found more than $72,000 in outstanding expenses from the 2018 election
since she took office in January. The DNR gives Pavilion Partners LLC a Aug.
1, 2020, deadline by which to complete construction on the Pavilion at
Indiana Dunes State Park and obtain occupany permits; should the LLC miss
the deadline, the DNR has the option of terminating the lease agreement.
Corporation posts a first-quarter profit of $54 million. Charlotte Johnson
Read, who spent the greater part of her life living among and fighting for
the Indiana Dunes, dies at 90. Nearly four and a half inches of rain fall
over five days, beginning on April 26. The Indiana state budget bill
officially puts the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s
Board of Trustees under the purview of the Governor’s Office; the bill cuts
the NICTD board to five members, all to be appointed by the governor; but
also dedicates $205 million in funding to the West Lake Corridor project and
the Double Track project.
The CHS boys track
team wins the Valparaiso Relays. Local 4600 of the International Association
of Fire Fighters--representing Chesterton’s career firefighters--endorses
Democrat Bob Allison in the Town Council primary election; Allison is
challenging incumbent Dane Lafata for the latter’s 3rd District seat. CHS
will host the 46th annual All that Jazz festival in the auditorium.
The CHS softball
team rallies to beat Valparaiso 7-6. The 19th annual A.C.E. (Accepting the
Challenge of Excellence) Award is presented by the Duneland Exchange Club to
CHS senior Ellias Hanna. The CHS girls track team wins two titles and
finishes second in the DAC meet at Valparaiso. The CHS baseball team wins
its second walk-off victory in a row, 3-2, against LaPorte.
overwhelmingly vote to renew a property-tax referendum for another seven
years, with 73 percent in favor, 3,389 yes votes to 1,241 no votes; the
first time around, the referendum won by only a 151-vote margin; meanwhile,
the Duneland School Board pledges to keep the community more involved in,
and informed about, the way in which referendum funds are spent.
In the only
contested municipal primary race in all of Duneland--the one for the 3rd
District seat on the Chesterton Town Council, held by Democrat Dane Lafata--challenger
Bob Allison wins comfortably, with 54 percent of the vote to Lafata’s 46
reports a first-quarter profit of $414 million. CHS sprinter Dimitri
Nicholson wins the 100 as the boys track team finishes fourth in the DAC
meet at Lake Central. The splash pad at Chesterton Park is closed
indefinitely after heavy rains cause hydrostatic pressure to push the pad’s
control vault up and out of the ground, shearing the pipes below the vault
right off. The Town of Burns Harbor is awarded two grants from the DNR--in
amounts of $1.78 million and $168,000--to fully fund the town’s portion of
the Marquette Greenway Trail.
An unnamed man is
banned from the Westchester Public Library for at least a year after an
apparent heroin overdose in a Thomas Branch restroom.The Chesterton Town
Council makes its position clear: it will not permit the expansion of the
European Market to make room for food trucks.
Commissioner John Schnadenberg declares war on a pair of beaver dams
blocking the westerly flow of drainage in the old part of town, a monster at
Griffin Lake and a second at the headwaters of the Peterson Ditch. The CHS
girls track team wins the sectional title. The CHS girls tennis team beats
Boone Grove 5-0 in sectional semifinals.
Dimitri Nicholson breaks a 36-year-old sectional record in the 100 meter
dash, as the boys track team finishes second overall. The CHS girls tennis
team ends its season with a 5-0 loss to Valparaiso in the championship match
of the Portage sectional. The CHS boys golf team wins the DAC meet at the
Brassie and ties for the conference title with Crown Point and Valparaiso.
CHS graduate Lucas
Davison earns a berth on Team USA for the United World Wrestling Junior
World Championships in Estonia. The 129th commencement at CHS will be held
outdoors in the football stadium. At the Portage regional the CHS girls
track team qualifies its 1,600 and 3,200 relay teams and 3,200 runner Bailey
Ranta for state competition. The Porter County Commissioners approve the
$4.5-million renovation of the old jail in Downtown Valparaiso.
The CHS baseball
team falls 2-1 in extra innings to No. 1 Crown Point in its sectional
opener. The CHS softball team beats Portage 14-2 in the sectional semifinal.
CHS Senior Athletes of the Year are Marney Sisson, Shelby Bullock, and Jack
The CHS softball
team blanks Hobart 10-0 for the sectional championship. The CHS boys track
team qualifies its 3,200 and 400 relay teams and sprinter Dimitri Nicholson
for state competition.
Manager Bernie Doyle tells the Chesterton Tribune that a major
announcement is in the works about the old Kmart site on Indian Boundary
Road, but declines to confirm a rumor that an Aldi’s is in the property’s
future. The CHS softball team falls to Crown Point 2-0 in the regional
Indiana Regional Planning Commission awards the Town of Chesterton a
$1.2-million grant for Phase III of the Westchester-Liberty Trail. The body
of a missing kayaker, Jacob Sandy, 23, of South Bend, is found 10 days after
he went missing at Porter Beach, about a quarter mile east of where he went
into the water. Porter County Commissioner Jeff Good, R-Center, is appointed
by Gov. Eric Holcomb to represent the county on the newly reconstituted
NICTD Board of Trustees.
CHS boys and girls
swim coach, Kevin Kinel, hangs up his stop watch after more than 40 years at
poolside; among other achievements, his girls teams boast 24 Top-10 finishes
at state, his boys teams four state championships and one national
championship. A smoker at Sweenie Todd’s Smoked Meats, 139 S. Calumet Road,
overheats, causing a fire in the kitchen only days before the restaurant was
scheduled to open for the season.
Dimitri Nicholson finishes seventh in the 100 meters at state, the boys 400
relay team places 14th, and the 3,200 relay team 20th. CHS runner Bailey
Ranta, the No. 22 seed in the 3,200, captures 10th place at state, the girls
3,200 relay team takes 15th, and the 1,600 relay team 12th. The CHS boys
golf team finishes second to Valparaiso in sectional competition.
Allure on the Lake,
526 Indian Boundary Road, burns to the ground, with estimated damage at $1
million; the cause of the fire remains undetermined. CHS senior Branden Wong
is named a National Merit Scholarship winner. Jean Bargeron’s oil painting,
“Dunes by Knife,” is Best in Show at the 68th annual Chesterton Woman’s Club
A bill signed into
law strips circuit court judges of their authority to appoint a member of a
county park board, gives county commissioners two appointments instead of
one, and gives another park board appointment to an elected county official
who is neither a commissioner nor a council member. Report: total rainfall
in May was 8.12 inches, with rain events recorded at the Chesterton
wastewater treatment plant 24 days out of 31, including 10 consecutive days
Michael Megyesi and Jackson Elementary Principal Linda Rugg submit their
resignations, effective June 12. CHS boys golf team finishes eighth in
regional competition, with Sean Elliott falling one stroke short of a berth
at state. The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission pledges an additional
$25,000 in TIF moneys to fund ambulance staffing payroll.
2002 CHS grad Eddie
Wineland picks up another UFC octagon victory with a knockout of Girgorri
Popov in Chicago. Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder is sentenced to
probation after pleading guilty in federal court to a single misdemeanor
count of failure to supply information to the Internal Revenue Service, in
connection with his private business, Shoreline Appraisals Inc. of Portage.
Director Brian Bugajski announces that two-thirds of a planned one-mile
trail leading to the Little Calumet River from Hawthorne Park has been cut
and cleared. The Duneland School Board holds a meeting to take public input
on a proposed new superintendent’s contract: base salary $147,500 for a
260-day work year; $6,000 annual car allowance; and a bonus of $4,500 or
$6,500 per year depending on the outcome of annual evaluations.
Bill Laster, a
resident of Oakwood Drive, presses the Chesterton Stormwater Management
Board about backwash in his rear yard, which he suspects is being caused by
a clogged ditch west of South 11th Street, east of the headwaters of
Peterson Ditch. U.S. Steel announces the idling of two domestic blast
furnaces--including the south blast furnace at Gary Works--as well as the
idling of a European blast furnace, in response to a softening market; the
company says that it doesn’t at the moment expect any layoffs at Gary Works.
ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor $10,000 for lead and cadmium violations. The
Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission hears a pitch for a Dollar General on
the site of the old Lipinski Automotive property, 1300 Broadway; the
construction of a Dollar General would require a re-zone of a portion of the
property from I-1 to B-3. The CHS speech and debate team has one Top 60
finish at the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas: Max
Winski and Indy Loving in Duo Interpretation.
Brandon Jones, 11,
Drew Pacilio, 12, and Lucas Anderson, 11, take first, second, and third
respectively at the annual MS4 Kids Fishing Derby at Indian Springs Park in
Porter. Chip Pettit--formerly principal of Crown Point High School--is named
the new superintendent of the Duneland School Corporation.
The Shirley Heinze
Land Trust adds to its holdings 34 acres of wetlands and floodplain along
the Little Calumet River in Chesterton. The Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club
installs Bob Kolar as 2019-20 president and names Bonny Hildebrand Rotarian
of the Year.
The Steel Barrel
Tavern, 212 Lincoln St. in Porter, celebrates its grand opening. The Porter
County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America honors Norman and Pat
Hellmers with the 2019 Environmental Achievement Award for their work
opposing Pavilion Partners LLC’s remodeling of the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes
State Park and its plans to build a banquet center there.
The Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission orders a two-phase rate increase for customers of
American Indiana Water Company; the impact on residential customers using
4,000 gallons of water each month will be an additional 34 cents per month
after Phase I goes into effect, then an additional $2.22 per moth when Phase
II is implemented.
Beach access to the
Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site at Indiana Dunes National Park is
restored following completion of a new trail to replace the one destroyed by
storms in the fall of 2018. The constitution of the Porter County Election
Board is changed, after a new law goes into effect meant to improve the
county’s election process; the board goes from three members to five,
comprised of the Porter County Clerk and two members each appointed by the
Republican and Democrat party chairs.
The Chesterton Park
Board learns that 25 mature trees at Dogwood Park will be removed by a
NIPSCO contractor to protect the power lines which they’ve overgrown. Three
train cars on the Norfolk Southern line jump the tracks near the North
Jackson Blvd. grade-crossing; no one is hurt.
Coroner Cyndi Dykes reports that 12 confirmed fatal overdoses occurred in
the first six months of the year, with six more suspected ODs, compared to
16 in the year-ago period. Report: the remodel of the former Methodist
Activity Center, 135 Lincoln Ave., by the new owner of the Chesterton
Montessori School, leads the list of June building permits. A concrete
deadman slab weighing 28 tons is poured for the splash pad at Chesterton
Park, intended to anchor it securely underground and resist hydrostatic
pressure in the event of another heavy rainfall.
Porter Police Lt.
John McMahon is honored by the American Legion as Law Officer of the Year at
the district level. The 12th annual Bark in the Park, sponsored by the
Duneland Business Initiative Group, is held at Thomas Centennial Park.
Rogue, the Porter County Sheriff’s Police K-9 unit, makes a quick job of
finding Sheriff Dave Reynolds at the European Market, in a demonstration of
Project Lifesaver’s capability. A Florida gator expert succeeds in capturing
a four-foot long alligator in Chicago’s Humboldt Park lagoon.
Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-3rd, will be challenged in the Nov. 5
municipal election by Independent attorney Jennifer Fisher. CHS student Jack
Eaton is the 2018-19 Gatorade Indiana Boys Soccer Player of the Year, the
first ever selected from CHS.
Samuel Marshall is
named the new principal at Jackson Elementary; Michael Hamacher, the new
principal at CMS. The National Weather Service issues an excessive heat
warning, with heat indices forecast in excess of 100 degrees.
Winners at the
Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual Awards Luncheon: Duneland
Distinguished Woman, Shirley Peffers; Humanitarians of the Year, Dr. John
and Linnea Forchetti and DeShawna Neal; Volunteers of the Year, Jeff Larson
and Elizabeth Marks; Golden Achievement, Janet Ryan; Serviceperson of the
Year, John Schnadenberg; Business Renovation, Three Moons Fiberworks,
Prepared Services, and Moth Wings Studio; New Construction Award, Biggby
Coffee and Residences at Coffee Creek.
The Porter Advisory
Plan Commission recommends reducing the minimum square footage requirements
for hew homes; under the change, a single-family home would have to be at
least 1,200 square feet, down from 1,500 square feet. The Chesterton
Advisory Plan Commission grapples with the definition of “retirement
village,” after John Nekus proposes to build one on the 11.28 acres behind
the Chesterton Post Office, just a few months after planners rejected his
planned unit development on the same property.
celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The 168th
Porter County Fair gets under away at the Expo Center and Fairgrounds. The
Chesterton Redevelopment Commission green-lights the conversion of parallel
parking on the north side of West Indiana Ave. to angled parking in the 100
and 300 blocks. The Park Department re-buries a newly secured splash pad
control vault at Chesterton Park; tests on the system are proceeding.
fined $14,000 following the death in April of a steelworker in a train
accident at the Indiana Harbor facility. The Porter Town Council split-votes
4-1 to oust Public Works Director Brenda Brueckheimer; no reason is given
for the move. The owner of the house at the southeast corner of Porter Ave.
and South Calumet Road pleads with the Chesterton Redevelopment Commission
to decide quickly whether to buy it or not, as she’s unable to do anything
with the property while an intersection reconfiguration project is up in the
air; meanwhile, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell questions the feasibility of the
subcontractor, Mattias Francisco Miguel-Baltazar, 35, dies after falling off
a ladder at the Eagle Crossing Apartments worksite at Coffee Creek Center.
Survey results: 71 percent of respondents favor the creation of a railroad
quiet zone in Downtown Chesterton. The Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals
unanimously grants a use variance for a tattoo parlor at 1505 S. Calumet
Road, over the strongly voiced objection of a remonstrator who tells members
that “Tattoos aren’t the image the Town of Chesterton wants to portray.”
Board of Zoning Appeals tells petitioner Derek Serianni he needs to define
what he means by a “special events center” before members would consider
granting him a use variance for the old Pioneer Lumber Building at 505 Grant
Ave. CHS graduate Mitch Davis wins the 44th annual Northern Amateur at Sand
Creek Country Club with a tournament record 12-under-par.
The Festival of
Magic is held in Downtown Chesterton, sponsored by Running Vines Winery and
Aftermath Cidery. At long last the splash pad at Chesterton Park is opened
to the public. Brandon Howard, 32, of Constantine, Mich., drowns in the
waters off Indiana Dunes State Park. The accused murderer of Nicole Gland,
Christopher Dillard, seeks his immediate release from the Porter County
Jail, pending his trial, on the ground that he was not brought to trial in a
timely fashion. NiSource Inc. posts a second-quarter profit of $283.1
a second-quarter loss of $447 million. The Pine Township Board and Pine
Township Trustee Tammy Watkins clash over a fire-protection service contract
which Watkins wants to award to the Pines FD, whose chief is her husband and
whose deputy chief is her son.
The 61st annual
Chesterton Art Fair is held at Dogwood Park. U.S. Steel posts a
second-quarter profit of $68 million. The Northwest Indiana Croquet
Association returns to the Porter County Park Board, seeking the
construction of a championship pitch at Sunset Hill Farm County Park; but
the group wants to restrict public access to the pitch.
The Duneland School
Board hires Robert McDermott as assistant superintendent; McDermott most
recently served as Director of Student Services and School Safety for the
Crown Point Community School Corporation. The Duneland School Board
green-lights the reconfiguation of the CHS auto shop into a “flex lab” where
students will get hand-on experience with sophisticated manufacturing
Sheriff Dave Reynolds is named Sheriff of the Year by the Indiana Sheriff’s
Association; while PCSP Officer Nathan Graff is named Deputy Sheriff’s
Officer of the Year. The Porter County Animal Shelter reports that the
euthanization rate has been reduced for the fourth consecutive year.
Shoplifters hit the
CVS at 505 E. 1100N three times in the space of three days, stealing roughly
$2,000 worth of razors and antacids. Work begins on the conversion of
parallel parking into angled parking on the north side of West Indiana Ave.
in the 100 and 300 blocks.
enforcement agencies are awarded a grant by the Indiana Criminal Justice
Insitute to crack down on school bus stop-arm scofflawism; officers will
follow select Duneland buses to and from school, watching for motorists who
fail to stop for activated stop-arms. The Porter Town Council adopts a
resolution naming the area west of the fire station the Lewis T. Craig Sr.
Heroes Memorial Garden. Can anyone remember when Babe Poparad wasn’t
cross-guarding kids to safety on their way to Yost Elementary on the first
day of school?
blames a mechanical failure for the release of cyanide and ammonia nitrogen
into the East Branch of the Little Calumet River, just east of the Shadyside
Mobile Home Park in Burns Harbor, in sufficient quantities to kills
thousands of fish; beaches are closed as a precaution, as is Indiana
American Water Company’s pumping and treatment facility in Ogden Dunes. A
lightning strike ignites a fire in an attic of a house in the 400 block of
West Indiana Ave. in Chesterton; meanwhile, 5,000 homes and businesses in
Duneland lose power during the storm.
A proposed Dollar
General on the site of the old Lipinski Automotive, 1300 Broadway, draws
both support and opposition at a meeting of the Chesterton Advisory Plan
Commission. ArcelorMittal apologizes for the chemical spill which killed
thousands of fish; monitoring reveals that levels of cynanide and ammonia
are falling in the East Branch of the Little Calumet River; but Portage
Mayor John Cannon blasts the Indiana Department of Environmental Management
for waiting three full days to notify the City of Portage after receiving
the first reports of dead fish.
The CHS boys soccer
team cruises to a 12-0 win against Boone Grove in its season opener. The CHS
volleyball team beats Hammond Morton 25-12, 25-11, and 25-9 in its season
opener. The accused murderer of Nicole Gland, Christopher Dillard, is denied
release from the Porter County Jail pending his trial. New children’s art
instructors Emily Blossom and Jen Aitchison join the Chesterton Art Center.
CHS grad Lucas Davison wins a silver medal at the UWW Junior World Wrestling
Championships in Estonia.
ADA-accessible kayak launch at Indiana Dunes National Park--on the East
Branch of the Little Calumet River off Howe Road--is opened at a
ribbon-cutting ceremony. Portage attorney Thomas Dogan announces that he’s
filed a notice of intent to sue ArcelorMittal for violations of the Clean
Water Act, following the company’s release of cyanide and ammonia into the
Little Calumet River; joining that suit, among others, are the Marquette
Yacht Club and the Portage Port Authority.
The CHS football
team beats Hobart 21-13 in its season opener. The CHS boys cross country
team opens its season with a win in the 11/12 Division in the NIC Stomp and
a second-place finish in the 9/10 Division. The CHS girls cross country team
wins the 9/10 Division in the NIC Stomp and takes second place in the 11/12
Babapaloosa Music Festival, sponsored by the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club,
is held at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The Chesterton Redevelopment
Commission opts not to purchase the property at the southeast corner of
Porter Ave. and South Calumet Road, after concluding that the amount of
infrastructure already in the ground would make the reconfiguration of the
intersection difficult, if not altogether unfeasible.
The CHS girls
soccer team blanks Valparaiso 4-0. After years of complaints from Duneland
Cove residents, the Porter Town Council approves a quote of $53,209 for new
playground equipment at Kids Cove Park. The CHS boys soccer team beats
Pearson Road in unincorporated Liberty Township blast the Brassie Golf Club
for years of errant golf balls, hit from the driving range, striking their
homes and endangering their lives. The Duneland Chamber of Commerce hosts
the annual Taste of Duneland in Thomas Centennial Park.
The CHS volleyball
team pulls out a tough victory against Valparaiso, 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, and
25-18. Residents of Pearson Road in unincorporated Liberty Township ask the
Porter County Commissioners for relief from errant golf balls hit from the
Brassie; the Commissioners are noncommittal. A fugitive driving a stolen
maintenance truck in the direction of police officers on the Indiana Toll
Road, immediately south of Abercrombie Woods, is shot in the leg by a Porter
County Sheriff’s deputy; during the manhunt for the fugitive and his two
companions, Duneland School buses loaded with students and heading for
Abercrombie are re-routed to Westwood Manor.
The CHS boys tennis
team wins its first match of the season with a 5-0 DAC victory over Portage.
Report: all Duneland Schools came out ahead of state averages on the new
ILEARN standardized test--which replaced ISTEP--but not a single one of them
exceeded 60 percent proficiency in English and math.
Duneland School students will converge on Indiana Dunes National Park in
attempt to break the Guiness World Record for largest field trip. The
Chesterton Town Council tells Pearson Road residents that there’s nothing it
can do to stop errant golf balls hitting their homes from the Brassie,
because they live in unincorporated Liberty Township.
In the battle of
the final two undefeated DAC girls soccer teams, CHS takes it on the chin,
losing to Crown Point 2-0. CHS students and staff place 2,977 flags on the
lawn in front of the football stadium, in memory of the martyrs who died on
Sept. 11, 2001. Twelve CHS seniors are named National Merit Scholarship
semifinalists: Joseph Adcock, Jenna Aguilar, Calvin Anders, Gavin Dooley,
Dylan Draves, Ryan Herr, Gabriel Kroeger, Aidan Li, Reagan Morton, Zachary
Mullins, Xavier Pittman, and Joshua Sweet.
to the Chesterton Town Council about train horns near their homes;
meanwhile, the council appoints an ad hoc committee to review quiet zone
engineering proposals submitted by three consultants.9. The CHS football
team wins its homecoming game decisively by beating LaPorte 29-7. Homecoming
Royalty: Chad Berdine, Duke; Molly Hadenfelt, Duchess; Gazelle Hood, Queen;
Alex Dzugas, King; Avary Gonzales, Princess; and Conner Mathis, Prince.
The CHS girls cross
country team wins the Bob Thomas Invitational, led by Bailey Ranta’s
runner-up finish. The CHS boys cross country team takes second at the Bob
Thomas, led by Will Shook’s third-place finish.
The Porter County
Council wants to know why the Westchester Public Library has reserve funds,
as WPL Director Lisa Stamm tells the Chesterton Tribune that a Porter
County Council member--whom she declines to name--made an impromptu visit
and whose tone she characterized as “challenging” and one of “constant
The CHS girls golf
team finishes fifth overall at the DAC meet, with Lake Central taking the
team title. The fourth annual Indiana Dunes Apple Festival is held at
Indiana Dunes National Park’s Chellberg Farm site. The Chesterton Stormwater
Management Board moves to purchase a flail mower to expose the old ditch
west of South 11th Street which Oakwood Drive resident Bill Lasters thinks
is blocked and causing backwash into his rear yard.
The CHS Trojan
Guard marching band takes first in its class at the annual Goshen High
School Crimson Marching Invitational. U.S. Steel projects an adjusted
diluted loss per share in the third quarter of 35 cents, sending its stock
price sharply down. A volunteer luncheon held by the Duneland Resale Shop
celebrates 10 years at 801 Broadway. Over the impassioned objections of some
neighbors, but making others very happy, the Chesterton Advisory Plan
Commission votes unanimously to endorse a re-zone of the old Lipinski
Automotive, 1300 Broadway, to allow the development of a Dollar General on
The CHS football
team falls to No. 2 Valparaiso 40-6. The CHS girls tennis team finishes
second in sectional competition at the Valparaiso Country Club, losing to
Valpo 365-395. The CHS boys tennis team wins the eight-school Portage
Invitational. The Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary unveils its new sign
at a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The U.S. Army
redacts details of its investigation into the deaths of nine solders in
2016--including that of 2014 CHS graduate and U.S. Military Academy Cadet
Mitch Winey--when the truck they were riding in was swept into a
rain-swollen river at Fort Hood; the Army still refuses to explain how its
investigation was conducted or who ordered the training exercise to proceed
despite the heavy storm.
CHS students walk
out of classes as part of the Global Climate Strike. A NIPSCO contractor
begins the removal of 25 mature trees at Dogwood Park, to protect the power
lines which they’ve overgrown. CHS Principal Brent Martinson says that
students who walked out of classes as part of the Global Climate Strike will
be marked truant but that no other disciplinary action has yet been decided.
The Chesterton Town
Council awards a $71,000 contract to CTC Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas, for a
railroad quiet zone feasibility study. CHS social studies teacher Bob
DeRuntz and Anna Zervos hold their annual Civil War encampment in the CHS
The Porter County
Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will hold the Read Ride bicycle tour
honoring the late Dunes advocate Charlotte Read. The Westchester Township
History Museum opens a new exhibit: “The Rest of the Story: Local Women
1860-1920.” The Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals grants a use variance of
a special events center at 505 Grant Ave. The CHS football team spoils
Portage’s homecoming game with a 26-7 win.
The CHS girls golf
team ends its season with a 14th place finish in regional competition. The
CHS girls cross country team finishes second in the 16-school Highland
Invitational, with Libby Boster the team’s top finisher. A total of 5.18
inches of rain falls over the weekend in Duneland with lightning strikes
damaging a vacant Liberty Township home and a house in Tamarack. The
Northern Indiana Historical Power Association holds its 43rd annual Fall
Harvest Festival at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.
The Chesterton Art
Center begins an exhibit entitled “In Our Nature,” featuring pastels by Mary
Ann Pals and mixed media pieces by Larry Jensen. Volunteers at the Duneland
Community Church sort and pack 26,000 donated bras for the non-profit Free
announces a joint-venture partnership with Big River Steel, to acquire an
interest in the company’s mini mill. The CHS boys tennis team wins its
sectional opener 5-0 over Portage. The CHS Trojan Guard takes third place at
the Concord Invitational in Elkhart.
The CHS boys soccer
team finishes its regular season unbeaten with a 7-0 victory over LaPorte
and a DAC championship. The CHS boys tennis team loses 3-2 to Valparaiso in
the sectional finals. Chesterton MS4 Operator Jennifer Gadzala is named an
Influential Woman, while Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik is named
Overall Up and Coming Woman of the Year, by the Northwest Indiana
Influential Women’s Association.
The CHS girls
soccer team finishes its regular season by blanking Griffith 7-0.
Westchester Intermediate School and Chesterton Middle School are closed
after the bacterium which causes Legionnaire’s disease is found in the water
supply. A Chicago developer seeks to build between 250 and 318 luxury
apartments on the site of the old Splash Down Dunes water park in Porter.
The CHS boys cross
country team finishes third at the DAC championships; the CHS girls cross
country team finishes fourth but just six points out of first. WIS and CMS
are re-opened after steps are taken to rid their water supplies of the
bacterium which causes Legionnaire’s disease; but a student at the YMCA
Early Learning Academy--housed at CMS--tests positive for Legionella.
NICTD is cleared by
the Federal Transit Administration to begin the design and engineering of
the West Lake Corridor. The CHS girls soccer team cruises to a 12-0 win over
Merrillville in sectional competition.
Customers of the
Damon Run Conservancy District push back after Valparaiso City Utilities
announces plans to purchase Damon Run’s sanitary sewer infrastructure;
residents fear a future land grab by the City of Valparaiso. Lisa Apato, a
former president of the Discovery Charter School’s Parent Advisory Council
(PAC)--a non-profit operated by parents and not affiliated with the school’s
administration--is charged with the theft of nearly $60,000 from the PAC.
Valmere Farms of
Jackson Township is the recipient of the Porter County Soil and Water
Conservation District’s Conservationist of the Year Award. The No. 3 CHS
boys soccer team beats No. 7 Crown Point 4-0 in sectionals. Garry Nallenweg
is honored for 20 years as CHS Athletic Director.
The CHS girls
soccer team beats Portage 7-2 in the sectional semifinal. The 19th annual
Duneland Community Prayer Breakfast is held, with Henrietta Ngenga as
keynote speaker. Porter County Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, says that he
should not have gotten out of his seat and into the face of an atheist
during a heated exchange on the subject of a request by the Northwest
Indiana Atheists to use the courthouse lawn on the same day of Valparaiso’s
Holly Days event.
The CHS boys cross
country team finishes second behind Valparaiso in sectional competition; the
girls team also finishes second behind Valparaiso, with Bailey Ranta overall
runner-up. The CHS boys soccer team wins the sectional championship with a
5-0 victory over Merrilville; the girls team loses the sectional final to
Valparaiso in penalty kicks. The Chesterton Town Council approves a
2-percent raise for full-time municipal employees in the 2020 budget.
Attorney Scott McClure announces that the Brassie Golf Club will use its
off-season to explore ways to mitigate the threat to homes on Pearson Road
posed by errant golf balls. The Town of Chesterton is awarded a 50/50
Community Crossings infrastructure grant of $168,000 to re-pave Broadway
from Eighth Street to 19th Street; and 1100N from South Fifth Street to
100E. The Chesterton Town Council takes the first step in demolishing the
abandoned house at 507 Wabash Ave. by declaring it an unsafe building.
School wins this year’s World School Milk Day’s contest, sponsored by the
American Dairy Association Indiana. The CHS debate team begins its season by
winning six of eight events at the Concord Invitational. The Caring Place
opens a new 48-bed domestic violence shelter in Valparaiso.
The CHS girls cross
country team finishes third in regional competition; the boys team finishes
second behind Valparaiso. The CHS boys soccer team ends its defense of its
2018 state championship with a 2-0 loss to Northridge in regional
competition. The CHS football team ends its regular season with a 27-20 loss
to No. 7 Merrillville.
the Navy’s newest littoral combat ship, is commissioned at the Port of
Indiana-Burns Harbor. Liberty Township resident Ron Stone blasts the
proposed sale of the Damon Run Conservancy District to Valparaiso City
Utilities at a meeting of the Chesterton Utility Service Board. Gusty winds
topple trees on Wabash Ave., Pearson Road, and in an alley north of Lincoln
In the opening
arguments of Christopher Dillard’s murder trial, prosectuors say that
Dillard confessed to his murder of Nicole Gland to a cell mate and in
recorded calls. A delinquent tax sale nets Porter County $1.3 million. The
Indiana Department of Environmental Management finds that Arcelor-Mittal was
in seven different violations of its NPDES permit, in connection with a
chemical release which killed thousands of fish in the East Branch of the
Little Calumet River in August.
The Duneland School
Board unveils its two-year contract with the Duneland Teachers Organiza-tion,
featuring raises for teachers in each year. Dillard trial witness:
Christopher Dillard had a crush on murder victim Nicole Gland. The CHS boys
cross country team qualifies for state with a third-place finish at
semistate; the girls team narrowly misses a berth with a seventh-place
finish. Dillard trial witness: Christopher Dillard said that the Upper Deck
bartenders “will get theirs.”
Utility Service Board formally challenges Valparaiso City Utilities’
proposed acquisition of the Damon Run Conservancy District’s sewer
infrastructure, in two filings before the Indiana Utility Regulatory
Commission. The Chesterton Town Council votes unanimously to approve the
re-zone of a portion of the old Lipinski Automotive property, 1300, clearing
the way for the construction of a Dollar General on the property. Dillard
trail witness: Christopher Dillard asked a Danny O’s bartender how much she
makes and whether she walks to her car alone at the end of the night.
CHS senior Sid
Augustyn urges the Chesterton Town Council to declare, by resolution, a
“climate and ecological emergency.” NiSource Inc. posts a third-quarter net
loss of $7.2 million and reports that costs associated with a subsidiary’s
natural gas explosion in Greater Lawrence, Mass., in September 2018, so far
total $1.68 billion. CPD: the sign celebrating the CHS boys swim team’s
state and national championships, posted at the intersection of 1100N and
100E, is stolen.
U.S. Steel posts a
third-quarter net loss of $84 million. Report: International Association of
Fire Fighters Local 4600--representing Chesterton’s career
firefighters--donated $2,190 in cash and in-kind donations to the campaign
of Independent Jennifer Fisher, who is challenging incumbent Chesterton Town
Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th; and $2,460 in cash and in-kind to the
campaign of Democrat Courtney Udvare, who is challenging incumbent
Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela.
The CHS football
teams falls to Warsaw 35-28 in the opening round of sectionals. Dillard
trial testimony: Christopher Dillard’s DNA was found on Nicole Gland’s
clothing. The CHS speech team boasts 11 champions at its annual Skeffington
Memorial Speech Invitational.
results: In Chesterton, Courtney Udvare easily defeats incumbent
Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela, 954-712; and Jennifer Fisher dispatches
incumbent Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, 876-732. In Porter: Democrat
David Phillips beats Republican Jim Burge 326-276 for the open 4th District
Town Council seat. In Burns Harbor: incumbents Nicholas Loving, Toni
Biancardi, Ray Poparad, and Eric Hull all win, along with challenger Roseann
Bozak, for the five at-large seats on the Town Council.
U.S. Rep. Pete
Visclosky, D-1st, announces that he will not seek re-election in 2020.
Christopher Dillard’s defense calls two witnesses, then rests its case;
approximately 10 hours later, the jury finds Dillard guilty of the murder of
Nicole Gland. ArcelorMittal posts a third-quarter net loss of $539 million.
CHS and CMS teacher
Akiko Tsugawa is named Japanese Teacher of the Year and Secondary World
Language Teacher of the Year by the Indiana Foreign Language Teachers
Association. The Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club uses matching grant funds for
a new handicap accessible viewing deck at the Westchester Migratory Bird
Intermediate School robotics team wins the Excellence Award at competition
in Crown Point, earning a berth at state. Winter comes early to Duneland,
with a temperature of 17 degrees at 8 a.m. Nov. 12 and three inches of
blowing, drifting snow; a two-hour delay is called by the Duneland Schools.
The Chesterton Town Council adopts a climate emergency resolution championed
by CHS senior Sid Augustyn.
The Chesterton Town
Council tells Superior Air-Ground Ambulance Service to hit the bricks, after
Superior demands an immediate subsidy of $150,000 to continue ALS service in
town. The CHS speech team wins eight of 14 events in competition at
Valparaiso. The CHS girls swim team wins its season opener over Highland
The federal lawsuit
filed by International Association of Fire Fighter Local 4600 against the
Town of Chesterton prompts complaints from other municipal workers about the
four additional paid days off which Local 4600 members receive. Twenty
Duneland Schools teachers travel to Indianapolis as part of the Red for Ed
Action Day at the Statehouse. Ashley’s Jewelry by Design, 221 Broadway, is
hit by a smash-and-grab burglar.
The Pine Township
Board files a motion to intervene in Pine Township Trustee Tammy Watkins’
decision to unilaterally award a fire protection contract to the Pines FD,
whose chief is her husband and whose assistant chief is her son. The
National Park Service announces that the pavilion at the Portage Lakefront
and Riverwalk site is open and safe for use, despite the erosion of a sand
dune located directly west of the pavilion. The Chesterton Utility Service
Board agrees to provide sanitary sewer service to a proposed subdivion in
unincorporated Liberty Township, located immediately south of the Brassie
Golf Course, west of Pearson Road, and north of C.R. 1050N.
The Burns Harbor
Redevelop-ment Commission hears a concept presentation for a mixed-use
planned unit development proposed for the Westport site. State Rep. Mara
Candelaria-Reardon, D-Munster, announces that she will run for the open seat
in the U.S. House currently held by U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-1st, who is
not running for re-election.
Robert G. “Bob”
Dunbar dies at 90; Dunbar was prominent in the community, a long-time member
of the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, and a Sagamore
of the Wabash. The Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission votes unanimously to
approve the primary plat for John Nekus’ retirement village, to be developed
on 11.28 acres located behind the Chesterton Post Office and immediately
east of Westchester South.
The Porter Plan
Commission endorses the re-zone of the old Splash Down Dunes Water Park
property for a luxury apartment project, over the objections of dozens of
residents. Vandalism at the Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary is reported
to Chesterton Police. Four of six bats listed as state-endangered are found
in the Valparaiso Chain of Lakes Watershed, near Spectacle and Loomis lakes.
The Chesterton Town Council, responding to municipal employees’ complaints
about the four additional paid days off received by firefighters, undertakes
a review of the Personnel Policy as a first step in resolving the conflict.
Chesterton Fire Chief John Jarka submits to the Town Council a proposal for
the establishment of ALS ambulance service.
CHS boys soccer
player Seth Conway is named to the First Team All-State by the Indiana
Soccer Coaches Association. The CHS girls basketball team beats Lake Central
57-53 in double overtime. A family dog perishes in a house fire at 800 Park
Ave. in Porter; the family succeeds in evacuating safely. Residents attend a
Porter Town Council meeting to continue voicing their opposition to a
proposed luxury apartment complex on the site of the old Splash Down Dunes
CHS boys basketball
team beats defending 2A state champion Andrean 61-48. The CHS wrestling team
takes three individual titles and the team title at the Ted DeRouse
Invitational in Antioch, Ill. CPD: a Grinch brazenly steals a box and two
bags of Christmas greens left on the sidewalk along Broadway by volunteers
decorating the Downtown.
United Methodist Church holds its 27th annual Cookie Walk. The Duneland
School Board votes to cancel its contract with the Damon Run Conservancy
District--which serves Liberty Intermediate and Elementary--following the
announcement of the proposed acquisition of the Conservancy District’s
infrastructure by Valparaiso City Utilities.
The CHS boys swim
team opens up DAC competition by beating Crown Point 135-51; the girls team
beats Crown Point 137-48. The Porter County Commissioners adopt a new policy
regarding requests to use the courthouse grounds, following a contentious
meeting in October at which an atheist group asked to use the grounds on the
same day as Valparaiso’s annual Holly Days event.
The CHS wrestling
team opens DAC competition by beating Portage 53-22. NIPSCO’s average
residential customers will pay an extra $6 per month for electric service
starting in 2020; but the flat monthly customer charge will be dropped by 50
The Porter County
Park Board votes unanimously to enter into lease negotiations with the
Northwest Indiana Croquet Association, which wants to build four
championship pitches at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The CHS wrestling team
wins the Covington Duals 5-0. The 47th annual Madrigal Dinners are held in
the Chesterton High School cafeteria; the Lord and Lady of the House are
Eric Ailes and Jackie Neely; one of the violinists in the orchestra, Kate
A deckhand serving
on a Great Lakes ore boat falls off the dock at ArcelorMittal in Burns
Harbor and drowns. The Chesterton Town Council makes itself clear: any ALS
ambulance service operated by the Fire Department would have to be
recently appointed president of the Porter County Board of Elections and
Registration, is found dead on Bullseye Court in Valparaiso; Coroner Cyndi
Dykes said that there are no indications of foul play. The No. 11 CHS
wrestling team falls to No. 4 Crown Point 39-34. The scrappy CHS girls
basketball team wins another game in double overtime, beating Plymouth
Law and Policy Center and the Hoosier Environmental Council file a lawsuit
in federal court against ArcelorMittal, alleging that the steelmaker
violated the Clean Water Act after chemical discharges from its Burns Harbor
facility killed thousands of fish in the East Branch of the Little Calumet
River. The Rock of Burns Harbor, Ray Poparad, dies; he served multiple terms
on the Town Council and also for many years as Fire Chief. Erosion forces
the National Park Service to close a portion of the parking lot at Lakeview
Beach as well as access to the beach itself.
Sgt. Randy Komisarcik--Officer Randy, for years the school resources officer
at CMS--will retire from the department, effective Jan. 31. CHS
Congressional debaters Savannah Hutchinson, Sid Augustyn, and Mark Jewison
qualify for next year’s national tournament in June in Albuquerque, N.M.
The Duneland School
Corpora-tion and Porter Regional Hospital -- customers of the Damon Run
Conservancy District--seek to connect to the Chesterton Utility’s sanitary
sewer system, after Valparaiso City Utilities purchases Damon Run’s
infrastructure. The Porter County Commissioners declare a state emergency
along the whole of Porter County’s Lake Michigan shoreline, following severe
erosion in Beverly Shores which threatens the integrity of Lake Front Drive.
Democrat Ryan Farrar announces his candidacy for the open seat of U.S. Rep.
Pete Visclosky, D-1st.
Trump is impeached by the U.S. House, accused of abuse of power and
obstruction. The Westchester Public Library hosts the annual Jingle Bell
Jamboree at the Hageman Branch. The No. 6 CHS wrestling team beats No. 15
Merrillville 47-23. The National Park Service seeks to put all of Dunewood
Campground on a reservation system and to set entry fees for some festivals,
like Maple Sugar Time.
The Duneland Resale
Shop endows a new fund with the Porter County Community Foundation: the
Duneland Resale CHS Scholarship Fund. The Chesterton Tribune
announces its Christmas coloring contest winners: Monroe Snell, 4; Miko
Byrd, 6; and Julia Marquez, 9. The back-to-back state championship CHS
gymnastics team wins its season opener against LaPorte, winning every event
and the all-around. The Beverly Shores Town Council approves $360,000 to
combat the beach erosion threatening the integrity of Lake Front Drive.
The demolition of
the old Kmart on Indian Boundary Road commences, Chesterton Town Manager
Bernie Doyle reports to the Town Council, but he remains unwilling to
identify the business interested in locating on the property, owned by a New
Jersey real estate firm. The Chesterton Town Council amends the Personnel
Policy Handbook to give all municipal employees the same number of hours of
annual personal leave, after department heads reported a restiveness among
their workers prompted by news that career firefighters receive four more
paid days off per year than they do.
The Porter County
Commission-ers announce that they will name the courtroom at the Juvenile
Service Center in honor of retiring Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper, to
recognize her 40 years of service.
defender of the Dunes, dies at 93, only months after his wife and partner in
activism, Charlotte Read, passed in May. The National Parks Conservation
Movement files a brief urging the U.S. District Court in Hammond to reject a
consent decree related to U.S. Steel Corporation’s April 2017 release of
hexavalent chromium into Burns Waterway.
Richard Friday, 97,
is honored as a 75-year member of Chesterton’s Calumet Lodge 379 of the Free
and Accepted Masons.