Chesterton Tribune

 

 

2018 in Review: Election snafu, county lease, school angst, CHS student success

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By KEVIN NEVERS

Call 2018 the Year of Magical Thinking.

The year when Porter County Clerk of Courts Karen Martin looked the County Council in the eye and said--almost certainly believing it--that her office was fully prepared to administer both the primary election on May 8 and the general election on Nov. 6.

Thinking, however, isn’t the same thing as doing. It’s not even the same thing as thinking about doing. It’s just thinking. And a thought and three bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

Only Martin knows what she was thinking after May 8, when anecdotal reports of irregularities began to fly, when voters or would-be voters in the primary told stories of poll-worker error and absentee-ballot snafus.

In any case, Martin’s thoughts alone proved utterly incapable in the fall--Abracadabra!--of spontaneously recruiting poll workers in sufficient numbers and with the necessary training to avoid the electoral meltdown on Nov. 6.

Thirteen polling places which failed to open at 6 a.m. were ordered to remain open past 6 p.m. by Porter Superior Judge Roger Bradford. Some 15,000 absentee ballots which should have been delivered to their respective polling places before they closed were never delivered at all. Serious questions were raised about chain-of-custody. And when it was all over, it still wasn’t over, because unofficial results weren’t finally released until 12 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9.

The single saving grace: with the exception of one race--Democrat Bob Poparad’s 15-vote squeaker over incumbent County Council President Andy Bozak, R-1st--the winners’ comfortable margins of victory, plus the prevailing ticket-splitting, precluded any dark mutterings of outright fraud.

At year’s end--according to a statement released early in December by the County Commissioners--the Indiana Secretary of State’s Election Division, with assistance from the Indiana State Board of Accounts and the Indiana State Police, was investigating.

The Lease

Meanwhile, the general election’s most prominent loser, incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel, couldn’t have been happy in June when the County Council learned that a long-term lease of space at 15 Franklin St. with his signature on it--for his office’s Child Support Division--was re-upped several years before it was due.

At the time of that renewal, 2014, the business manager of the building’s owner, Courtney Morgan LLC, was Chuck Williams. Later the same year the property was sold to a different entity, 15 Franklin LLC, which now was the beneficiary of a 10-year, $1.3-million contract which effectively--at least apparently, on paper--would foil the plan in 2018 to re-locate the Child Support Division to the old jail building at 157 Franklin St., which the County Commissioners purchased earlier this year for the express purpose of re-locating various government functions there.

In fact the Child Support Division was moved into the old jail building anyway--this month--after a preliminary opinion by a third-party legal firm indicated that the lease has been void since 1999. Not so fast, says 15 Franklin LLC, which promptly notified the Commissioners and Gensel that it may sue unless the Child Support Division is moved backed into the space or it receives a $526,543.92 lump sum to make good on the remaining lease payments through Dec. 31, 2024.

Footnote: in October the Porter Tax Assessment Board of Appeals voted 2-1 to seek back taxes after it determined that, in 2008, Courtney Morgan LLC business agent Chuck Williams secured an improper tax exemption benefiting the LLC by nearly the same amount in rent it annually charged the Child Support Division.

The Pavilion

The nexus of Chuck Williams and Brian Gensel emerged one other time in 2018, when Gensel referred to a special prosecutor a complaint brought against Pavilion Partners LLC and the DNR by Dunes Action.

The substance of the complaint: that Pavilion Partners and the DNR both failed to obtain necessary permits before beginning work.

Gensel’s reason for tapping a special prosecutor: his own “personal and professional relationship with Chuck Williams.”

Perhaps a more direct threat to the Pavilion project, though, was the National Park Service’s finding, dated May 15, 2018, that updated plans which the LLC submitted to the DNR in August 2017 represented enough of a departure from the original drawings as to constitute a “conversion” of the Pavilion under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act.

In any event, it’s been more than three years since all construction ceased on the Pavilion, and one could reasonably wonder at this point the degree to which magical thinking played a role in this project. Because thinking a Pavilion restaurant and banquet center at Indiana Dunes State Park would be a good investment turns out not to be the same thing as thinking them into existence.

Duneland Schools

On Dec. 5 the Duneland School Board announced the retirement, for family and health reasons, of Superintendent Ginger Bolinger, effective immediately. On Dec. 10 the Duneland School Corporation announced--amid a frenzy of social media rumor mongering--the suspension for unspecified reasons of seven Chesterton Middle School students. And on Dec. 11 it announced the resignation of an unnamed CMS teacher under active criminal investigation.

It’s been that kind of snake-bit year for DSC.

Go back to March, when in advance of a planned student walk-out at CHS to protest gun violence, Bolinger released a murky statement in bureaucratese double-speak commonly interpreted as expressing her support of the event. But only 90 minutes before the walk-out, when pressed by the Chesterton Tribune, Bolinger clarified: students who participated would be marked truant and disciplined. A couple of hundred kids walked out anyway.

In April the hugely popular principal of CHS, Jeff Van Drie, announced his resignation, effective at the end of the school year. Panicked rumors quickly began circulating among the staff of possible unsuitable successors, until the School Board named a highly able and winning one: CHS Assistant Principal Brent Martinson.

Parents for their own part were sandbagged in August on learning of six scheduled eLearning Days in the 2018-19 calendar. And parents of elementary and intermediate students in particular were forced to scramble: Pay a sitter to stay home with their children? Pay the Boys and Girls Club to watch them? Or miss a day’s wages and stay home with their children themselves?

And in the New Year just named Interim Superintendent Judith Malasto will likely be tasked to the delicate mission of persuading restive parents, social media trolls, and the community at large to support another property-tax referendum.

Duneland students, on the other hand, just keep doing what they’ve always done: competing, creating, performing, at the highest levels of excellence. For a blow-by-blow of their achievements in 2018, read the months below.

R.I.P.

This year the community bid farewell and Godspeed to some of its own.

In January, Lewis Craig Sr., former Porter fire chief and 45-year veteran of the fire service, at 74.

In June, Harley, the PFD’s K-9 partner and anchor of the Porter County Search & Rescue Team, at 8.

In August, former CHS triple letterman and IU athlete John R. “Jay” Mathias, at 69.

In November, Sig Niepokoj, former member of the Chesterton Town Board, BZA, and Plan Commission, at 85.

And in December, Ray Carnes, one of the three Wise Men who frequented Chesterton Town Council meetings--along with Leonard Sullivan and the late Bob Ginstra--and a tireless advocate of public safety issues, at 98.

January

Chesterton Park Board buys a 10’ x 50’ boxcar from the Orville Railroad Heritage Society in Orville, Ohio, at a cost of $9,000, to be retrofitted into a public restroom in Thomas Centennial Park; the board also authorizes an expenditure of $14,000 to transport the boxcar to a contractor’s workshop in Michigan City; the board buys a caboose too, at a cost of $15,000, to be retrofitted into an accompanying comfort station; cost of refurbishing the caboose: not to exceed $16,500.

CHS wrestlers finish second at the Al Smith Invitational in Mishawaka. CHS gymnasts beat LaPorte 110.475-85.65 in their DAC opener. Chesterton Building Department reports a total value of all commerical and residential projects in 2017 of $65,616,014, a 22-percent increase over the previous year’s total value. CHS senior Jacob Kintzele signs his National Letter of Intent to run at Princeton University.

James Neff is named president both of Horizon Bancorp and its wholly owned subsidiary, Horizon Bank. Widespread flu prompts Porter Regional Hospital to implement temporary visitor restrictions to help curb the spread of illness to patients and employees. Andy Bozak, R-1st, of Burns Harbor, is elected president of the Porter County Council. The Town of Porter holds a retirement party for Fire Chief Lewis Craig Sr., who is stepping down after 45 faithful years in the fire service.

CHS girls basketball team beats DAC nemesis Merrillville, 58-18, the first Trojan victory over the Pirates since Feb. 11, 2011. CHS speech team places second at one of the largest speech invitationals ever held in Indiana, hosted by Fishers and attended by 50 schools.

The Indiana Building, Fire, and Safety Commission re-thinks its rejection of a Chesterton ordinance mandating the installation of a carbon monoxide detector in all new residential construction, meaning that the ordinance--originally enacted in 2017--may now take effect. Burns Harbor Building Department reports the issuance of 11 permits for new homes in 2017 and five for multi-unit appartment buildings; commercial permits include one for a 12,000 square-foot building for Curley’s Custom Cycles.

Porter Town Council approves an ordinance which will grant Porter residents first rights to buy beach parking permits, on the first two days the permits are available for sale. Burns Harbor Town Council approves an ordinance which increases the annual stipend for Park Board members to $500 from $400, to match the stipends received by appointed members of all other municipal boards.

CHS gymnastics team dominates every event in its home opener against Hobart, winning 112.40-93.80 and sweeping the top three spots in all four events. CHS wrestlers beat Valparaiso decisively, 63-18, in a DAC win.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust announces its donation of 17.34 acres of protected natural land to Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore; the acreage is adjacent to the Hobart Prairie Grove, the Mnoke Prairie, and Miller Woods. Sean Dardeau is named the new CEO of Porter Health Care System. The current temporary exhibit at the Westchester Township History Museum: “Do the Dunes: Outdoor Adventures & Recreation.”

After a year in merger talks, Methodist Hospital announces that it has ended negotiations with Franciscan Alliance. Westchester Public Libary Director Leea Yelich resigns her position; former director Phil Baugher agrees to serve as interim director.

The fourth annual Alley Oop for Autism is held after the CHS girls basketball game against DAC rival LaPorte. CHS girls swim team wins its 19th consecutive DAC title, amassing 585 points and winning every event. CHS wrestlers take fourth at the DAC meet. CHS boys basketball team takes first DAC win of the season, beating LaPorte 73-40.

Duneland YMCA unveils the new Lu DeWulf Fitness Studio. A South Shore commuter train is evacuated at Dune Park Station after a fire breaks out in a pantograph atop one of the cars. CHS speech team takes third at the Steve Kirkpatrick Memorial Speech Invitational at Concord. CMS eighth-grader Alaina Wring is named to the 2018 Indiana Junior All State Band.

An observation deck at the Porter Riverwalk and Lakefront site at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore collapses following recent beach erosion. CHS boys bowling team wins the Indiana High School Bowling sectional title at City Lanes in Michigan City. Discovery Charter School installs the Buddy Bench.

Duneland School Board names John Christy the CHS boys track coach and elects John Marshall its president. CHS debate team qualifies three for the National Tournament in June in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.: Creighton Gaff, Megan Daye, and Sid Augustyn. CHS speech and debate team receives an anonymous $25,000 gift.

Nine days after his final call on the job, five days after his retirement party, former Porter Fire chief Lewis Craig Sr. dies unexpectedly. CHS graduate Tony Emanuele is promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade in the U.S. Coast Guard. Porter County Commissioners adopt an ordinance requiring contractors hired by county government to provide evidence of a clean business record; they also elect Jeff Good, R-Center, their president.

CHS debate team qualifies six for the National Tournament: Madison Simms and Sofia Winski (team), Matt Jewison and Ben Hoham (team), Hannah Geiss, Camma Duhammell, Kate Balakir and Grace Whah (team), and Zachary Mullins and Emily Krygoske (team). CHS boys bowling team wins the Indiana High School Bowling regional championship at Heritage Lanes in Kokomo. CHS Sandpipers, Drifters, and Show Choir Band “The Business” kick off their 2018 competitive season with a successful outing at Milton High School in Milton, Wis.

CHS wrestlers capture their fourth consecutive sectional title with 10 individual crowns. CHS boys swim team wins its 22nd consecutive DAC championship, with five event titles. Top-ranked CHS gymnastics team posts the state’s best score--114.10--to win the CHS Invitational title. CHS debate team wins its fifth consecutive ISHFA state debate championship, accumulating 111 points to second-place finisher West Lafayette’s 62.5 points. CHS gymnastics team beats Valparaiso, 113.775-112.30, remaining undefeated on the season.

Beverly Shores Town Council Member Geof Benson is elected chair of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s Executive Board. Residents are invited to comment on the Duneland School Corporation’s draft “Strategic Initiatives for 2018-22” document. Porter County Commissioners scuttle the Election Board’s plan to cut polling places to 46 from 86.

February

CHS girls basketball team falls to Valparaiso, 56-49, in the opening round of the IHSAA sectional tournament at Kankakee Valley. Pat Bankston, Ph.D., announces his retirement as associate dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary. U.S. Steel Corporation reports net earnings in 2017 of $378 million or $2.19 per diluted share, compared to a net loss in 2016 of $440 million or $2.81; USS also reports 4Q net earnings of $159 million or 90 cents, compared to a net loss in the year-ago of $105 million or 61 cents.

The 2018 Duneland Flyers Gates Legacy Scholarship is awarded to Austin Peterson. ArcelorMittal reports a net income in 2017 of $4.56 billion or $4.48 basic earnings per share, compared to $1.77 billion or $1.87 in 2016; ArcelorMittal also reports a 4Q net income of $1.03 billion or $1.02, compared to $403 million or 40 cents in the year-ago.

CHS wrestlers snap Crown Point’s 10-year streak to win the IHSAA regional title, 240-178. CHS girls swim team wins its 19th consecutive IHSAA sectional title. CHS speech team takes top honors at the Ben Davis Giant Speakers Tournament. WPL Thomas Branch Children’s Librarian Heather Chaddock takes third place in the Indiana Humanities Quantum Leap Poetry Contest.

CSU Inc., the contractor installing fiber-optic conduit in Chesterton, strikes a water main on West Porter Ave., one day after breaching a sanitary sewer main on South Fifth Street. Boy Scout Timber Wittemore earns his Eagle Scout rank by building two park benches at the Dunes Learning Center, with help from the Duneland Boys & Girls Club. The Porter County Community Foundation offers an additional $10,000 match for the Jo Winey Babcock Memorial Endowment, benefiting the Duneland YMCA.

CSU Inc., installing fiber-optic conduit in Chesterton, hits a natural-gas lateral on South Calumet Road. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District’s Board of Directors proposes a 5-percent fare hike, to raise additional revenues to offset the costs associated with operating Positive Trail Control. St. Patrick School fifth-grade robotics team finishes first of 27 teams and qualifies for the state tournament. Chesterton Park Board agrees to permanently dismantle the skate park off South 15th Street.

Chesterton Tribune announces that it won’t publish in advance of a winter storm projected to drop up to a foot of snow. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris reports that heroin-related deaths increased by more than 50 percent in 2017: 32, compared to 20 in 2016. CHS wrestlers take 11 first-round wins in IHSAA semistate competition, resulting in four individual wins and six tickets for state finals. CHS girls swim team finishes sixth at the IHSAA state finals.

Chesterton Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 141 holds the Chesterton Town Council’s feet to the fire on the issue of salaries. Skateboarder Sean Cromwell pushes back on Chesterton Park Board’s decision to demolish the skate park. Chesterton Police Commission amends the CPD’s SOP governing K-9 partners, removing the official policy which required the dogs to undergo aggression training. President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would cut funding by 90 percent for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Report: the Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled 2.8 million tons of cargo in 2017, completing the highest three-year total in the port’s history. Porter County Commissioners approve a new timekeeping policy for county employees. CHS gymnastics team sets a school record in its 114.575-108.10 win over Portage. CHS graduate U.S. Air Force Airman Fernando J. Leon Jr. completes basic military training at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Indiana Supreme Court rules, in a landmark decision, that Lake Michigan’s shoreline is open to all and that adjacent property owners may not exercise exclusive control of the beach between their homes and the water, settling a long-standing dispute in Long Beach. CHS wrestlers Lucas Davison and Eli Pokorney complete undefeated seasons to win IHSAA state championships. CHS boys basketball team beats Valparaiso 71-61.

CHS boys swim team takes its 20th consecutive IHSAA sectional title, winning 535 points to beat second-place Valparaiso (394). CHS gymnastics team wins its second consecutive DAC championship, beating Valparaiso 113.35-113.075. Centier Bank reports earnings of over $38 million and a return on average deposits of 1.04 percent in 2017. NiSource reports a net income in 2017 of $128.5 million or 39 cents basic earnings per share, compared to $331.5 million or $1.02 in 2016.

CHS boys basketball team loses to Portage in a 58-57 upset, quashing its chance at a share of the DAC title. Rapid snow melt, frozen ground and four inches of rain combine to cause flooding throughout Duneland. CHS boys swim team takes fourth place at the IHSAA state finals. CHS gymnastics team takes the sectional title, setting a new school record of 114.95.

CHS speech team takes second place at the IHSFA sectional tournament, advancing 34 of 38 entries to the state finals. In the wake of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the Duneland School Corporation releases a statement assuring parents that it is “very committed to the safety and security of our students and staff.” Town of Chesterton enters into negotiations for the purchase of the old Lipinski Automotive property at 1300 Broadway.

Dunes Action alleges that state law governing historic structures was violated in connection with the Pavilion project at Indiana Dunes State Park. CHS boys basketball beats Kankakee Valley 92-41 in its IHSAA sectional opener.

March

Liberty Intermediate School’s robotics team will compete at the Indiana VEX IQ ES state championship. Duneland Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Cork Screw & Brew event at Thomas Centennial Park. More than 1,000 Chesterton residents wake up without power after a squirrel runs afoul of a transformer in Morgan Park.

The County Park Board agrees to move the animals at Sunset Hill Farm Park to the Northwest Indiana Historical Power Association’s campground site; the Park Board also enters into a $27,000 contract with Chester Inc. to design and acquire the necessary permits for the “grain bin” activity center. The Indiana House approves a bill originally authored by State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, to mitigate erosion along Lake Michigan’s beaches.

A new law permitting the sale of alcoholic beverages on Sunday goes into effect. CHS gymnastics team rallies to beat Valparaiso 113.975-113.925 in regional competition. CHS boys basketball team falls to Merrillville, 80-59, in sectional competition. CHS speech and debate team qualifies nine more students for the National Tournament: Logan Summers, AJ Sterling, Josh Hogan, Max Winski, Indy Loving, Bryn Jackson, Connor Wantuch, Megan Dye, and Allen Smith.

A CHS student hacks into another student’s Facebook account and threatens to “shoot up” the school; investigators determine the threat isn’t credible and have him transported to hospital for evaluation; the case against him is subsequently forwarded to Juvenile Probation. CHS Japanese Olympiad’s second-year team finishes second and its fourth-year team finishes third in state competition. The Illiana Garden Railway Society prepares to move to Sunset Hill Farm County Park.

St. Patrick School’s Science Olympiad team finishes third in regional competition and moves to state competition. Longtime CHS English teacher John Hayduck announces his retirement, while James Sensibaugh resigns as boys soccer coach. Two Duneland School Chess Club teams qualify for state competition at the Indiana Scholastic Team Chess Regional.

U.S. Steel Corporation announces the re-start of two blast furnaces and the steelmaking facilities at its Granite City Works, following President Trump’s Section 232 action; the company expects to call back around 500 employees. A crowdfunding campaign is announced to defray some of the expenses of the boxcar restroom project in Thomas Park; the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will match, dollar-to-dollar, the first $31,000 raised through crowdfunding; meanwhile Hopkins Ace Hardware begins a round-up campaign, with proceeds going to the project.

CHS Jazz Ensembles wins the Superior “Gold” rating at ISSMA’s annual Jazz Festival at Portage High School. CHS Show Choirs garner honors at Railroader Rush Show Choir Invitational in Garret, Ind., and in competition at Churubusco Jr.-Sr. High School in Churubusco, Ind. Karina Martinez, a member of the Duneland Boys and Girls Club, is named a Porter County Youth of the Year.

Porter County Election Board votes 2-1 to delegate administration of the primary and general elections in 2018 to Clerk of Courts Karen Martin; Martin--who is running for Porter County Auditor--tells the County Council that she is prepared to handle both elections. Robert A. E. Lewis, 23, of Chesterton, is charged with the armed robbery in 2017 of the Zip Foods in Porter, after DNA evidence connects him with the crime.

CHS gymnastics team wins its fourth IHSAA state championship, edging out defending state champion Valparaiso 114.4-113.95; sophomore Sophie Hunzelman wins her second consecutive all-around state championship.

In advance of a planned student walkout at CHS--to protest gun violence--Duneland Schools Superintendent Ginger Bolinger says that administration and staff will take no official position on the action and that the Duneland School Corporation “supports students’ Constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and free expression”; only hours before the walkout, Bolinger says that students who participate in the walkout “could face disciplinary actions”; several hundred students nonetheless participate in the non-political action, to honor the 17 shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.; those students are later informed that they were marked truant at 10 a.m. on the day of the walkout and must either complete 30 minutes of community service or write a one-page reflection on their experience.

Chesterton resident and Goshen College junior Laura Hoover wins Best Play-by-Play in Intercollegiate Broadcasting System competition. Chesterton Park Board agrees to postpone demolition of the skate park until the end of the summer skating season; its fate after that is unclear. Duneland Education Foundation announces the Ralph D. Ayres Memorial Scholarship.

Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission approves the primary plat for eight duplexes to be built at the northeast corner of South Fifth Street and 1100N. The Duneland YMCA holds its annual Campaign Kickoff Breakfast at the Spa Special Events Center. CHS junior and flutist Holly Kittredge performs at the 57th annual Indiana High School All-State Band Festival. CHS Drifters are first Runner-Up and the Sandpipers are Grand Champions at the Herscher High School Swing and Sing.

Porter County Council approves $28.5 million in additional appropriations for improvements to the Portage Courthouse, the Valparaiso Courthouse, the Expo Center, and a new out-building at the North County Complex in Portage. Three CHS athletes are named DAC Most Valuable Player: gymnast Jordan Bush, swimmer Lauryn Kallay, and wrestler Lucas Davison. CHS graduate Blake Pieroni smashes the American 200 Free swim record.

CHS senior Donovan Lawnicki and his blues band, The Instinct Chicago, win a Chicago Music Award. A jury finds Chesterton Police Cpl. Joe Kantowski not guilty of pointing a handgun at his wife during a domestic dispute at their home in September 2015. Westchester Public Library’s Board of Directors names Lisa Stamm as WPL’s new director. Liberty Intermediate School celebrates the 41st anniversary of its Turtle Olympics. CHS softball team beats Hobart 12-2 in its season opener.

In a standing room-only meeting of the Porter Town Council, Porter Cove residents demand improvements at Kids Cove Park. Burns Harbor Police nab an escapee from the custody of Portage Police, Michael Maldonado, 25, after a BHPD officer recognizes him as a passenger in a vehicle at Ind. 149 and Old Porter Road. Jay Craig, son of the late Lewis Craig Sr., is named to succeed his father as Porter Fire Chief.

April

Duneland Girls and Boys Swim Club finishes third at the Indiana Senior Short Course Championships in Indianapolis. U.S. Steel Corporation agrees to pay a $600,000 civil penalty and $630,000 to reimburse various federal agencies after its Portage facility dumps a carcinogenic chemical into Burns Ditch in April 2017. CHS baseball team opens its season with a 5-0 shutout of Hammond Gavit.

Gov. Eric Holcomb visits the North 15th Street Norfolk Southern grade-crossing in Chesterton to announce the launch of Local Trax, a state matching program for railroad improvements. Duneland School Board announces the resignation, effective June 30, of CHS Principal Jeff Van Drie. Sam Wolford, 86, and Scott Wolford, 53, die in a fire in a Liberty Township mobile home. Duneland School Board members voice concerns about the expense of school-issued devices and the pervasiveness of technology.

Porter County Commissioners offer to buy back the old jail building at 157 Franklin St. in Valparaiso for $3,621,500, after the current owners make improvements to it; the space will be used for various county government functions. The Duneland Exchange Club kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Moonth by decorating Thomas Centennial Park and the Downtown with blue ribbons.

Bailly Elementary Sweet Treat Factory, operated by second-graders, will make and sell roughly 3,000 chocolate-covered pretzels to fundraise for United Way Reading Buddies. Eagle Scout candidate David Archibald of Troop 908 tells the Chesterton Park Board of improvements he plans to make at the Duneland Diamond ballfield in Chesterton Park. CHS girls basketball coach Jack Campbell is named Indiana Basketball Coaches Association District 1 Coach of the Year.

Duneland Education Foundation will honor the late Dr. Dirk Baer, former Duneland Schools superintendent, at its annual gala. Chesterton firefighters respond to two heroin overdoses in a single weekend, one in the 500 block of South 19th Street, the other in the 100 block of Beverly Drive. Shawn Robb, 39, and his wife, Alisha Robb, 38, of Hobart, are killed in a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 12 in Westchester Township.

4th Street Theatre will host “Hat’s Entertainment.” Chesterton Town Council votes unanimously to give all municipal employees a 4-percent raise, with the exception of police officers and firefighters, who will receive scheduled raises to align their take-home more nearly with that paid by neighboring municipalities. CHS softball team beats Valparaiso 11-3. CHS boys track team drops its DAC opener to Crown Point, 88-44. CHS girls track team wins its DAC opener against Crown Point, 70-62.

Amerilodge Group of Bloomfield Hill, Mich., eyes property immediately north of the Speedway gas station and Culver’s restaurant for a double-hotel project: a Holiday Inn Express and a Fairfield Inn & Suites. Porter Town Council donates Lot 61 in the Woodlake Springs subdivision to the Shirley Heinze Land Trust. CHS boys golf team shoots a team 152 to easily win its season opener against Boone Grove, Lowell, and Andrean.

Friends of the Indiana Dunes will hold its annual Native Plant Sale at the Dorothy Buell Memorial Visitor Center. Burns Harbor Town Council urges residents to file online complaint forms to report noise from the Praxair facility. Westchester Public Library’s Board of Trustees approves a new policy permitting patrons to use credit and debit cards when paying fines which exceed $1. CHS boys golf team outlasts 15 other teams, including Valparaiso, to win the Michigan City Marquette Invitational.

CHS student government is recognized as a National Gold Council of Excellence by the National Association of Student Councils. CHS boys volleyball team finishes second in the nine-team Border Battle tournment at CHS. The lowest of four base quotes for retrofitting the boxcar in Thomas Centennial Park into a restroom facility--$255,752--exceeds by not quite 150 percent the architect’s original estimate of $105,000.

CHS Theater will present The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood in the auditorium. Pitcher Austin Peterson fans 14 in the CHS baseball team’s 11-0 shutout of Valparaiso. Northwestern University wrestling recruit Lucas Davison adds another victory to his career at Team Indiana 2018 competition at Brownsburg High School. The City of Chicago and the nonprofit Surfrider Foundation object to the proposed federal settlement under which U.S. Steel Corporation would pay nearly $900,000 in fines and penalties related to the chemical spill at its Portage facility in April 2017.

Friends of Westchester Public Library will hold its annual spring book sale at the Thomas Branch. CPD reports: five of six HVAC condensors are stolen from the roof of the building on Indian Boundary Road which is home to Pella, Cigarette Discount Outlet, McColly Real Estate, and Fiesta Salons. Porter County Commissioners approve a RFP for a wellness clinic to serve county employees at the Administration Center.

CHS boys lacrosse team beats Fort Wayne Concordia 14-7. Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club holds its annual fish fry. NIPSCO agrees to a settlement under which it will seek a lower natural-gas rate increase than it originally proposed; the average residential customer would see a monthly hike of around $8, instead of the $10 which NIPSCO initially sought.

The fourth annual Autism Awareness 5K Fun Run is held at the CHS track. Dunes Action asks the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to investigate its claim that demolition and construction work on the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park was done without the required permit. CHS Drifters, Sandpipers, and show choir band The Business earn high placings at the FAME National Show Choir Finals in Waukegan, Ill.

CHS girls tennis team improves to 3-0 in DAC with a 5-0 win over Michigan City. CHS boys golf team falls to Valparaiso, after tying VHS with a 143 team score but losing the fifth-man tie-breaker. U.S. Steel Corporation posts a profit of $18 million or 10 cents per diluted share in the first quarter, compared to a net loss of $110 million or $1.03 in the year-ago. CHS girls track team finishes seventh out of 16 teams in the Princess Relays at Elkhart Central.

CHS sprinter Braden Corzan breaks the school’s 100 meter record as he leads the boys track team to a third-place finish at the Kokomo Relays. No. 4-rank CHS boys volleyball team goes 3-1 on the final weekend of the regular season at the Miller Classic in Noblesville. Volunteers throughout the community work on rehab projects in the annual Rebuilding Together Duneland event.

May

Porter Regional Hospital paramedic and dog-whisperer Mary Esserman reunites Finn the Puppy with his owner, Lucas Cardona, after the two are separated when Cardona, a trucker, rolled his rig in the Indiana Toll Road plaza; Esserman tempts Finn out of hiding, in the woods around the plaza, with his favorite food: hotdogs. CHS senior Nolan Poczekay is named a 2018 Indiana Academic All-Star by the Indiana Association of School Principals. American Legion Post 170 honors two of its members, John Hogan and Carl Burton, for 50 Years of Continuous Membership.

CHS boys golf team racks up two more DAC wins, beating Crown Point and Portage, at Sand Creek Country Club. Four Discovery Charter School teachers become certified archery instructors: Ben Frankowski, Sarah Pavlovic, Nathan Underwood, and Kristen Byrt. Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute celebrates 50 years of orthopedic care.

Barbara Hanna spots a Bald Eagle feeding on a fresh kill on C.R. 950N in Liberty Township. Chesterton Park Board awards a $255,916 contract for retrofitting the boxcar restroom to Larson-Danielson Construction of LaPorte. NiSource Inc. reports a net income in the first quarter of $276.1 million or 82 cents basic earnings per share, compared to $211.3 million or 65 cents in the year-ago. Porter County Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel appoints a special prosecutor to investigate Dunes Action’s claims that the DNR and Pavilion Partners LLC dodged state law in advance of Pavilion renovations.

Ground is broken on the grain bin activity center at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. The Northwest Indiana Croquet Association proposes building a four-court championship-class croquet pitch at Sunset Hill Farm Park. Shannon Donnelly joins the Duneland Family YMCA Board of Directors. Bobby Lee Yaus, 28, dies in an apartment fire in the 100 block of South 21st Street in Porter.

CHS girls tennis team beats Valparaiso 3-2. CHS softball team rolls over Merrillville 18-0 in a DAC game. The Duneland School Board names CHS Assistant Principal Brent Martinson to succeed Principal Jeff Van Drie, resigning at the end of the current school year.

Primary election results: Republican incumbent Porter County Council President Andy Bozak fends off a challenge for his 1st District seat from Chesterton Town Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-1st; Republican Cyndi Dykes and Democrat Randy Wilkening will vie for Coroner in the general election in November; Republican challenger Matt Keiser unseats incumbent Liberty Township Trustee Beth Underwood; Patricia (Pat) Boy wins the Democrat nomination for the open 9th District seat in the Indiana House.

CHS Wind Ensemble wins the “Gold” Superior rating at ISSMA competition in Indianapolis. CHS gymnast Sophie Hunzelman is named IHSAA Gymnast of the Year. ArcelorMittal posts a net income in the first quarter of $1.19 billion or $1.17 basic earnings per share, compared to $980 million or 98 cents in the year-ago. Feedback on the long-range plan for Porter Parks indicates that residents do not support a dog park at Kid’s Cove Park.

No. 4-ranked CHS boys volleyball team wins the Indiana Boys Volleyball Coaches Association regional championship, beating No. 13-ranked Columbus North in five games. Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission agrees to spend $7,503 to promote Food Truck Square.

Local winners of the Porter County Convention, Recreation, and Visitor Commission’s R.O.S.E. Award: Conservation Award, Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary; Fine Dining Restaurant of the Year, Bartlett’s Gourmet Grill & Tavern; Newcomer of the Year, The Port Drive-In; People’s Choice, Riley’s Railhouse; Food Wars Winner, Northside Diner; Professional of the Year, Duneland Chamber of Commerce President Maura Durham; Putting Porter County on the Map, National Park Service, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

Chesterton Police Commission honors Cpl. Jamie Copollo with the Life-Saving Award, for her professionalism on the scene of an attempted suicide. CHS girls track team edges Valparaiso 152-118 for the IHSAA Chesterton sectional title. CHS girls tennis team opens IHSAA sectional competition with a 5-0 victory over Boone Grove. New Carol Cook Wetland Overlook birding site opens in Jackson Township. Porter Plan Commission recommends the creation of a tax increment financing district in Porter Beach, comprising the old Johnson Inn property and a portion of Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

CHS girls tennis team loses to Valparaiso 4-1 in the championship of the IHSAA Portage sectional. CHS boys track team wins six individual events and finishes second overall at the IHSAA Portage sectional. CHS boys golf team avenges its only loss of the season by beating Valparaiso 156-159 at Forest Park.

Gov. Eric Holcomb appoints Porter County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Mike Drenth to succeed retiring Porter Superior Court Judge Julia Jent. Chesterton girls lacrosse team wins its final game of the season, beating Tippecanoe 12-1. Chesterton boys lacrosse team finishes the season with a pair of victories, 17-1 over LaPorte and Lawrence North 16-6. Porter County Election Board holds a public meeting to address complaints from voters and poll workers related to the 2018 primary election, administered by Clerk of Courts--and candidate for Porter County Auditor--Republican Karen Martin.

NICTD’s Board of Trustees votes to implement a 5-percent across-the-board fare hike, to take effect July 1; the additional revenues will be used to operate the new Positive Train Control system. CHS hurdler Kirsten Wozniak and 3,200 runner Shelby Bullock win their tickets to state by finishing third at the IHSAA Portage Regional. CHS softball team advances to the IHSAA sectional championship game after beating Portage 9-2. CHS Senior Athletes of the Year are Courtney Krol (seven varsity letters), Kirsten Wozniak (nine letters), Austin Peterson (six letters), and Jacob Kintzele (eight letters).

CHS softball team beats Valparaiso 6-2 to win the sectional championship. Sprinter Braden Corzan, pole vaulter Ben Raffin, and 3,200 runner Jacob Kintzele earn their tickets to state in regional competition; Corzan and Raffin earn individual titles and Kintzele is runner-up. CHS baseball team beats Valparaiso 7-0 for the IHSAA sectional title. CHS softball team loses to Lake Central 2-1 in the IHSAA regional finals. CHS speech team Joshua Hogan and Logan Summers finish in the Top 10 in duo interpretation at the Catholic National Forensic League’s Grand National Tournment.

June

NIPSCO permanently shuts down its coal-fired generators at the Bailly Generating Station, after more than 50 years in service. CHS boys athletic teams win the DAC All-Sports Award for 2017-18, thanks in part to three conference championships. Concert for Our Lives to end gun violence is held in Thomas Centennial Park, featuring The Striped Socks, The Toasters, Hannah Geiser, Ally Christian, Eve Senderhauf, and The Cold Ones.

The 128th annual CHS commencement exercises are held outside in the stadium. The Speedy Mart at 1175 Broadway is robbed at gunpoint. CHS boys baseball team wins the Class 4A LaPorte regional championship by beating Mishawaka 4-1. CHS boys golf team wins the IHSAA sectional title at Forest Park, with a 13-stroke victory over Valparaiso. CHS sprinter Braden Corzan wins the 400 meters and pole vaulter Ben Raffin takes fourth place at IHSAA state finals.

CHS 3,200 runner Shelby Bullock places ninth at IHSAA state finals; 300 hurdler Kirsten Wozniak finishes 25th. Donut Hustle 5K fundraises for the Porter Police Department. Jason Michael Harvey, 31, of Chesterton, and Michael Joseph Maupin, 19, of Westchester Township, are charged in connection with the robbery of the Speedy Mart on Broadway in Chesterton. Twelve CHS student-athletes named to the IACTCCC Academic All-State Team: Jacob Kintzele, Andrew Smenyak, Bryce Stephan, Charley Bernth, Matthew Van Kley, JP Osafo, Alexa Tumidalsky, Marie Raffin, Kirsten Wozniak, Tessa Tilden, Caity Bogue, and Haley Moore.

A total of $75,407.88 is raised through a crowdfunding campaign to support the boxcar restroom project in Thomas Centennial Park, including a $31,000 match from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Duneland School Board appoints Joshua Huwig as principal of Yost Elementary and David Alvarado as principal of Liberty Elementary. CHS certified athletic trainer Bernie Stento is named the 2017-18 Newell Award National Athletic Trainer of the Year.

Dunes Action urges the public to oppose the Pavilion project at Indiana Dunes State Park in comments on a draft of the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission’s Marquette Action Plan. Jerry Maren, the last surviving Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz and a frequent guest of the former Oz Fest in Downtown Chesterton, dies at 99. CHS graduate and motorcross racer Tyler Vore is selected to represent Team USA in the International Six Day Enduro in Vina del Mar, Chile.

CMS social studies teacher Christine Bullock is named 2017-19 Duneland School Corporation Secondary Teacher of the Year. Chesterton artist Holly Jackson’s paintings are wrapped around trash cans in Downtown Chesterton. Superior Ambulance Service refuses to extend its current no-charge contract with the Town of Burns Harbor while a new one is being negotiated; in addition, it now wants to charge the town $25,000 per month as well as to capture the first $150,000 in revenues before splitting those revenues with Burns Harbor.

Chesterton Park Board okays a “selfie wall” at the new restroom facility in Dogwood Park. CHS golfer Mitch Davis advances to the IHSAA state finals after the team finishes fourth in regional competition. CHS baseball coach Jack Campbell will dye his hair maroon and gold for the team’s IHSAA semistate game against Fishers, after the team wins the regional championship in LaPorte.

Dunbar Family Foundation donates a gazebo to the Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Lil and Chuck Swickard are honored for their volunteerism by the Duneland Resale Shop. CHS seniors Karlyn Layman, Bryan Pamintuan, and Nolan Poczekay are college-sponsored National Merit Scholarship winners. CHS baseball team falls to Fishers 5-3 in the IHSAA Plymouth semistate game, after a controversial call of catcher’s interference by the home plate umpire nullifies a two-RBI hit by Tyler Benson. CHS sprinter Braden Corzan wins the Star of the Stars Award at the Midwest Meet of Champions after winning the 400 and sharing the 4x400 relay team’s victory.

Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission eyes a possible “Haglund Trail,” a pedestrian pathway linking Food Truck Square and Lakeland Park. CHS graduate Kyle Bartolini is the 2018 A.C.E. (Accepting the Challenge of Excellence) Award presented by the Duneland Exchange Club. CHS senior wrestler Lucas Davison is named High School All-American by Wrestling USA Magazine, after finishing the season undefeated, including an IHSAA state championship at 195 pounds.

Porter Town Council approves a resolution creating a tax increment financing district at Porter Beach; the Redevelopment Commission will next hold a public hearing on the proposal. Chesterton Town Council endorses an application for an alcohol permit under the Riverfront District designation, for a new gastro-style pub and eatery--dubbed (219) Tap Room--under development in the 100 block of South Third Street. CHS golfer Mitch Davis shoots a 79 in the second round of the state tournament, after shooting a four-under par 68 in the first round.

Rob Dorsey joins the Duneland Family YMCA Board of Directors. CPD announces the acquisition of a new K-9 unit, Maverick, a Belgian malinois who’s been partnered with Officer Erik Palleson. CPD Chief Dave Cincoski announces 47 have applied for an open patrol officer’s position, following wage increases approved in April by the Town Council.

PCSP Deputy John Patrick Morris, 24, is terminated after being charged with public indecency, following a woman’s accusations that he exposed himself to her. A 60-ton Peterbilt crane owned by Joe’s Towing Inc. is used to lower track sections into place in Thomas Centennial Park, at the site of the boxcar restroom and caboose comfort station. Dr. Emily Haas, CHS Class of 2003, a research scientist at the CDC, is the winner of the Arthur S. Flemming Award, presented by the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at George Washington University.

Bob Kolar will be the 2019-20 president of the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club. Harley, for five years the Porter Fire Department’s K-9 partner, the anchor of the Porter County Search & Rescue Team, and Fire Chief Jay Craig’s best friend, passes away after a brief illness; he was 8. CHS speech and debate team places nine students at the National Tournament in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. CHS softball player Shelby Grimm doubles and triples in the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association’s North-South All-Star Game.

The 22nd annual Midsummer Celebration is held at Chellberg Farm at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Chesterton Town Council approves a $1.8-million general obligation bond for roadwork and sidewalk repairs. Porter Redevelopment Commission approves the creation of a tax increment financing district which includes residential property, despite a prior statement by a consultant that the TIF district would capture revenues from commercial property only and would not include any residential property.

Nearly two miles of Furnessville Road in unincorporated Westchester Township goes under the knife, as NIPSCO starts work on a natural-gas pipeline replacement project. CHS graduate Logan Julius Bell, Class of 2017, graduates from bootcamp at the Navy Recruit Training Command. County officials demand to know why the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s lease of space at 15 Franklin St. in Valparaiso was renewed several years early and why it bound the county to an above-market price for 10 years in a contract that approaches $1.3 million over its lifetime.

July

Wyatt Bussema, 11, sets a derby record at the annual MS4 Kids’ Fishing Derby at Indian Springs Park in Porter. The annual Family 4th Fest is held in Hawthorne Park, with the Lions Club officially dedicating its new lion-shaped fountain. The 10th annual Fireworks on the Lakefront draws a record crowd estimated at 13,000.

Burns Harbor Town Council opts to end its contract with Superior Ambulance Service, after the company gives Fire Chief Bill Arney little notice of a proposed $450,000 change to the terms of the contract. With temperatures soaring, the Porter Police Department urges Porter Beach residents to be patient with increased traffic volume. The 11th annual Bark in the Park, sponsored by the Duneland Business Initiative Group, is held in Thomas Centennial Park.

Honored at the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s annual Awards Luncheon: Distinguished Woman, Bonnie Gaston; Humanitarian, Lu DeWulf; Volunteer, Joe Grossbauer; Golden Achievement, Carol Ruzic; Putting Duneland on the Map, CHS speech and debate team; Business Renovation, Allure on the Lake; New Construction, StoryPoint; New Construction, NITCO and Town of Chesterton (for fiber optic network).

United Steelworkers Union says that ArcelorMittal is seeking “major” concessions at the bargaining table, less than two months before the old three-year contract expires on Sept. 1. Burns Harbor Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan is elected to the Executive Board of the Indiana League of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers. CHS sophomore Sean Elliott wins the 15-year-old division at the Boys Golf Indiana State Age Group Championship.

Chesterton Park Board instructs Superintendent Bruce Mathias to find a site for a new skate park. Burns Harbor Fire Chief Bill Arney reports that he’s in talks with Porter Regional Hospital over a proposed ambulance service agreement. Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission puts the Haglund Trail project on hold, in order to make $200,000 available to the Fire Department for improved living quarters for EMS staff.

Burns Harbor Town Council appoints John Miller as Building Commissioner, a part-time position. Chesterton author and world authority on ska Heather Augustyn signs copies of her books--including her latest, Alpha Boys’ School: Cradle of Jamaican Mustic--at the European Market. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in Thomas Park for the Town of Cheserton’s new fiber-optic broadband network.

Duneland Chamber of Commerce is one of five finalists for the statewide 2018 Indiana Chamber of the Year. Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission is a finalist for a federal Recreational Trails Program grant, which would be used to fund the town’s portion of the Marquette Greeway trail. CHS grads Zachary Gipson and Dustin Ritchea direct and star in Gutenberg! The Musical! at The Art Barn in Jackson Township.

Westchester Public Library Director Lisa Stamm reports that WPL will renew its involvement in the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten initiative. Nearly 1,000 NIPSCO customers lose power when a utility pole on Ind. 149 is struck by a vehicle. Duneland School Board expects to re-evaluate its transfer student policy at its annual retreat later in the summer. The boxcar and caboose purchased earlier this year by the Chesterton Park Board are sited in Thomas Park.

Duneland School Board retains the financial consulting services of Umbaugh, in the run-up to a possible new property-tax referendum in 2019. National Park Service throws a monkey wrench into Pavilion Partners LLC’s revised plans for the conversion of the Pavilion at Indiana Dunes State Park, after determining that those plans have changed enough to require a new federal review under the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act.

Annual Porter County Fair begins its run. Chesterton Fire Department’s secondary engine, a 2000 Pierce Saber, throws its differential when the U-bolts securing the engine’s rear axle fail during routine driver’s training. Chesterton Moose Lodge 1623 sponsors a Road Rally fundraiser to benefit the athletes of Porter County Special Olympics. Scott Mundell joins the Duneland Family YMCA’s Board of Directors.

Chesterton Town Council awards the bid from Horizon Investments Inc. for a $1.8-million general obligation bond issue for roadwork and sidewalk improvements. Burns Harbor Park Department installs a Little Free Library by the playground at Lakeland Park. Porter Town Council approves the request of vendor Simms Enterprise to rent kayaks and three-wheel water bikes at Porter Beach.

The late Harley, the Porter Fire Department’s search-and-resuce K-9, is posthumously honored with the Canine Service Dog Award by the U.S. War Dog Association. CHS grad and Indiana University swimmer Blake Pieroni wins the 100 Free and finishes second in the 200 Free at the U.S. Swim Nationals. Duneland Boys and Girls Club celebrates its 1,000th registered member: Chloe Link, 10, a student at Jackson Elementary School. Dunes Learning Center’s new propane-fueled school bus arrives.

August

Chesterton Patriots win the Boys and Girls Club’s flag football league. ArcelorMittal posts a second-quarter net income of $1.86 billion or $1.84 basic earnings per share, compared to $1.32 billion in the year-ago. NiSource Inc. posts a second-quarter net income of $23.2 million or 7 cents basic earnings per share, compared to a net loss of $44.4 million or 14 cents in the year-ago. Former CHS football, basketball, and track standout and Indiana University athlete John R. “Jay” Mathias dies at 69.

U.S. Steel Corporation posts a second-quarter net income of $214 million or $1.20 per diluted share, compared to $261 million or $1.48 in the year-ago. The annual Babapaloosa, created by the Chesterton-Porter Rotary Club to benefit the needy in Nepal, is held at Sunset Hill Farm County Park. CHS grad and future Northwestern Wildcat Lucas Davison claims the 195 titles in Freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling at the USMC Cadet & Junior National Championships in Fargo, N.D.

CHS girls golf team opens its season by splitting a triangular with Warsaw and Triton. Porter County Council learns that office space leased by the Porter County Prosecuting Attorney’s Child Support Division at 15 N. Franklin St. in Valparaiso is more than 1,000 square feet smaller than some records state, according to an application for a tax exemption.

President Trump announces that steel and aluminum tariffs have prompted U.S. Steel Corporation to open half a dozen new plants; USS makes no such announcement and says that the opening of any new mills would be “publicly announced.” A motor home fire here in the westbound lanes of I-94 backs up traffic nearly to Michigan City.

Duneland School Board announces six “eLearning Days” in the 2018-19 calendar, during which students would work at home with online lessons and assignments. No. 3 blast furnace at ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor in East Chicago goes down; repairs are expected to be completed in two weeks. Ground is broken on the $3.2-million Porter County Expo Center renovation project. United Steelworkers rejects U.S. Steel Corporation’s push for “flat wages” in a new contract; the USW also accuses ArcelorMittal of dragging its heels at the bargaining table.

Westchester Public Library receives a donation in an unreleased amount from the estate of one of its long-time patrons, the late Floyd “Monty” Montgomery. CHS boys soccer team opens its season with a 2-1 victory at Boone Grove. A “public access bleeding control station”--donated by Medicine in Bad Places, co-owned by CHS grad Tony Emanuele--is installed at CHS. Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris reports that drug-related deaths are down over the first half of 2018: to 19 from 28 in the first half of 2017, a drop of 32 percent.

Chesterton Utility makes over to the town’s General Fund a $77,571 payment in lieu of taxes, as well as a return on the treatment plant of $79,544, to help fund employee raises granted in April by the Town Council. CHS volleyball team opens its season with a three-game victory over Hammond Morton. CHS girls soccer team beats Michigan City 9-1 in its season opener. Valparaiso Police Sgt. Todd Kobitz is made an honorary member of the Chesterton Police Department for training the CPD’s new K-9 partner, Maverick, gratis.

Porter County Commissioners award $1,386,210 in bids for the second phase of the Courthouse renovation project. U.S. Department of Interior opposes re-designating Indiana Dunes National Lakesore a “National Park,” because doing so “would be inconsistent” with the National Park Service’s “naming conventions for different kinds of units,” according to NPS Acting Director P. Daniel Smith. Lisa Jordan, president and CEO of the Family & Youth Services Bureau in Valparaiso, announces her retirement, effective Dec. 31, after 23 years of service.

U.S. Steel Corporation announces $750 million in capital improvements to Gary Works, with USS receiving $10 million in conditional tax credits from the state. CHS football team loses its season opener against Hobart 10-9. CHS girls cross country team opens its season with a second-place finish at the NIC Stomp at New Prairie. Two Illinois boys drown within the space of an hour at Indiana Dunes State Park beach. Work officially begins on the silo-themed program center at Sunset Hill Farm County Park.

Katie Clark joins the Duneland Family YMCA’s Board of Directors. CHS girls soccer team loses to Valparaiso 5-4 in penalty kicks. CHS boys soccer team beats Valparaiso 4-0. Long-time environmentalist Walt Breitinger is honored with the Izaak Walton League Hall of Fame Award. A new parent drop-off traffic pattern goes into effect at Chesterton Middle School. A 16-year-old boy is facing multiple delinquency charges, including arson, after the CPD said that on three consecutive nights he forcibly entered the Residences of Chesterton nursing home facility, under construction at Coffee Creek Center, to vandalize it.

CHS football team wins its first game of the season against Munster 31-0. Chesterton Feed & Garden holds its 26th annual Customer Appreciation Week. CHS softball coach LouAnn Hopson receives her 40-Year Award from the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association. Dick and Kay Annable of Chesterton celebrate their 60th anniversary.

Nearly 2,000 NIPSCO customers--including Chesterton High School--and nearly 1,200 more in Liberty Township lose power in the blistering heat. CHS boys tennis team wins its DAC opener with a 4-1 victory over Lake Central. CHS girls soccer team beats Merrillville 13-0.

Katelyn McCoy aces the 15th hole at Palmira Golf Course but the CHS girls golf team still loses to Lake Central 223-190. Chesterton Town Council agrees to go out for bid on a new fire engine, after it’s determined that repairs to the CFD’s secondary engine, a 2000 Pierce Saber, would cost more than the vehicle is worth.

September

CHS football team loses to Michigan City 28-10, after taking a 10-7 lead into Saturday’s continuation of Friday’s storm-delayed game. No. 9 CHS boys soccer team beats No. 16 Munster 2-0. United Steelworkers schedule strike authoriztion votes against U.S. Steel, after both parties agree to extend their current contract past its expiration on Sept. 1.

CHS girls soccer team beats No. 18 Crown Point 3-1. After failing to come to an agreement with the Porter County Park Board, the Northwest Indiana Croquet Association appears before the Chesterton Park Board seeking to build a four-court championship pitch at Dogwood Park. United Steelworkers locals vote to authorize a strike but U.S. Steel does not “anticipate” one.

Human skeleton remains found in a field several hundred yards northwest of Porter Regional Hospital are being examined by forensic anthropologists at the University of Indianapolis. Indiana Court of Appeals suppresses all statements made by Christopher Dillard, the accused murderer of Upper Deck bartender Nicole Gland, after he first requested legal counsel during his interrogation by Chesterton Police Chief Dave Cincoski, including Dillard’s statement to his girlfriend that “I killed that girl.”

National Park Service takes delivery of a new Marsh Master amphibious vehicle, used to expedite the work of removing invasive species of vegetation at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Shelby Bullock wins the individual title but the CHS girls cross country team finishes second at the Bob Thomas Invitational at Lowell; the CHS boys cross country team also finishes second overall.

CHS girls golf team finishes fifth of 14 at the Pat Ford Invitational at Beechwood Golf Course in LaPorte. Students, staff, and volunteers, under the direction of CHS support staff member Mary Beth Whitmer, continue the O’Keefe Family’s tradition of placing 2,977 flags in the front of the CHS stadium, to honor the martyrs killed on Sept. 11, 2001.

Chesterton Town Council raises the monthly brush and leaf collection fee from $1 to $2, as part of a multi-pronged effort to make sustainable the wage hikes granted to all municipal employees in April. Porter County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals continues a hearing on an exemption benefiting 15 Franklin LLC, owner of the property which has leased space to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Child Support Division, after no one from the LLC appeared.

Daniel and Cheryl (Glancy) Howe of Chesterton celebrate their 50th anniversary. Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission expresses a willingness to provide the Fire Department with $200,000 to run an independent ambulance service through the end of the year; Fire Chief Bill Arney says he needs only $50,000 to pay part-time paramedics to staff the BHFD’s ambulance. Chesterton Art Center’s 2018 Art Comp winners: Best in Show, Kathy Los-Rathburn, for watercolor “Coal & Coil”; First Place, Jimmy Duke Johnston, for acrylic “Still Life on Mars.”

CHS senior Brandon Wong and Andrean High School senior Thomas Pampalone of Chesterton are named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists. Investigators attempt to find the cause of a series of natural-gas explosions in Massachusetts communities served by Columbia Gas Company, a subsidiary of NiSource Inc.; the explosions ignited fires in at least 60 homes and killed one person.

CHS girls golf team finishes second at the Valparaiso Sectional and advances to regional competition. No. 2 CHS boys soccer team defeats defending IHSAA state champion Lafayette Harrison 2-1. CHS football team loses to Valparaiso 23-0. CHS girls cross country team finishes fourth at the 30-team New Prairie Invitational, while the boys team finishes sixth.

Indiana American Water Company seeks to raise rates 16 percent by 2020 in a filing before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. CHS juniors Jack Ward and Josh Osborn, members of Boy Scout Troop 929, earn their Eagle Scout rank. Duneland School Board signals that it plans to revise its transfer student policy by early 2019; members agree that accepting transfer students from outside the corporation isn’t and shouldn’t be about the money and that the policy requires better management.

United Steelworkers locals vote to grant strike authorization if necessary against ArcelorMittal. Under a settlement agreement, NIPSCO residential customers will see an overall natural-gas rate increase of approximately $8 per month, instead of the $10 originally sought by NIPSCO, beginning on Oct. 1. NIPSCO announces the retirement of most of its remaining coal-fired generation plants within five years and all of them within the next 10 years. CHS volleyball team fights back from two games down to beat Valparaiso in five games.

Shirley Heinze Land Trust is honored with the Governor’s Award of Environmental Excellence, presented by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management. Frontline Foundation Inc.’s seventh annual Hooked on Art Festival is held in Downtown Chesterton, with proceeds going to the treatment of adult substance abusers. Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission releases RFQ from developers interested in developing the former Duneland School Corporation’s acreage located across Ind. 149 from the town hall; proposals are sought for an updated town hall and community center.

Ground is broken on Phase II of the Porter County Courthouse renovation. CHS Homecoming Royalty: Queen Caroline Liapes, King Brandon Wong, Prince Carter Casbon, and Princess Nalani Malackowski. No. 1 CHS boys soccer team beats Hobart 9-0. CHS seniors Roman Camacho, Sarah Smith, and Samuel Teal are National Merit Scholarship “Commended Students.” Senior Sarah Harmon is named CHS Orchestra Concertmaster and senior Sarah Schimpf Assistant Concertmaster.

Indiana Supreme Court voids state’s blocked railroad crossing law, which authorized local police departments to issue $200 citations to railroads whose trains blocked grade-crossings for more than 10 minutes. Some 20,000 NIPSCO customers lose power during a storm. Porter Town Council issues an $830,000 general obligation bond for a new fire engine and park equipment.

CHS boys soccer team finishes an undefeated season by beating LaPorte 4-0 to win the outright DAC title. CHS boys tennis team advances into IHSAA sectional finals after sweeping Wheeler 5-0, then beats Valparaiso 3-2 to win its fifth straight sectional title.

October

Shelby Bullock wins the DAC title and the CHS girls cross country team finishes second; while the boys team finishes third. CHS Trojan Guard Marching Band, under the direction of Adam Bess, finishes third in Scholastic A Class at the Penn High School Invitational. St. Francis’ Episcopal Church holds its annual Blessing of the Pets.

Chesterton Plan Commission split-votes 4-3 to re-zone three lots on South Calumet Road, between Westchester Ave. and Washington Ave., from commercial to residential. Porter County Park Department opens a new wetland observation deck at Sunset Hill Farm Park. CHS boys tennis team wins its first ever regional semifinal match, beating New Prairie 4-1 at LaPorte. No. 1 CHS boys soccer team beats Michigan City 1-0 in the IHSAA sectional opener in Portage.

CHS girls soccer team beats Valparaiso 4-0 in IHSAA sectional opener in Valparaiso. The eighth annual Porter Perfect Pint festival is held at Hawthorne Park. Chesterton Board of Zoning Appeals grants four sign variances to Wise Guys Discount Liquors, 1601 S. Calumet Road. No. 1 CHS boys soccer team advances to the IHSAA sectional championship with a 3-1 victory over Crown Point.

CHS boys tennis team loses 3-2 to Penn in the IHSAA LaPorte Regional finals. The 17th annual Duneland Community Prayer Breakfast is held in Trinity Hall at St. Pat’s Church; the keynote speaker is Anne Ryder. Chesterton Park Board looks to hire an assistant superintendent, with the idea of grooming a successor to Superintendent Bruce Mathias on his eventual retirement.

St. Patrick School is second in ISTEP scores to only one small, non-public school in Indiana, while Discovery Charter School’s students surpass Duneland Schools students as well, whose scores overall are stable. No. 17 CHS girls soccer team falls to No. 12 Valparaiso 4-1 in the Class 3A Valparaiso sectional semifinals. Shelby Bullock wins the New Prairie Sectional title and the CHS girls cross country team finishes second; while the boys team finishes in second behind Valparaiso. No. 1 CHS boys soccer team wins the Class 3A IHSAA sectional title 5-0 at Portage.

CHS Trojan Guard Marching Band earns a Gold rating with Visual Distinction at ISSMA Scholastic Class Prelims at Plymouth and qualifies for ISSMA finals. Bridger Fowler, 13, of Porter, wins the Spartan World Championship in Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, Calif.; running in the Competitive Youth Class, Fowler beat more than 8,000 participants from 37 countries. Porter County Commissioners retain an outside legal firm to review the Prosecuting Attorney Office’s lease of space at 15 N. Franklin St.

NIPSCO projects that residential natural-gas customers will pay approximately $7.50 more per month during this winter heating than the last one. A 20-pound chunk of ice--what could be a megacryometeor--falls on Liberty Township resident Dennis Nover’s front lawn, under clear skies, missing his head by 30 feet. United Steelworkers says it may have “little choice” but to strike ArcelorMittal. Results of Burns Harbor survey: residents want safer routes of travel through town, they appreciate the small-town feel, and they would like a grocery store.

CHS boys soccer team wins the Class 3A Goshen Regional title, after beating Penn 3-2 in overtime and then Northridge 4-3. CHS boys cross country team wins the New Prairie Regional title; while the girls team also claims the title, after Shelby Bullock finishes six second ahead of Valparaiso’s Ava Gilliana. CHS volleyball team falls to Michigan City in three games at the semifinals of the Hobart Sectional. CHS football team loses its regular season finale 28-16 to Merrillville.

Porter County Parks Foundation donates $7,500 toward the construction of cabins at Sunset Hill Farm Park. CPD Officer Alexias DeJesus is commended for her professionalism in responding to a burglary in progress in Ogden Dunes. United Steelworkers and U.S. Steel announce a tenative four-year contract. A ceremony is held in Burns Harbor to dedicate an Indiana state historical marker commemorating the development and legacy of the Burns Harbor Steel Plant.

Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik is honored by the Association of Government Accountants with its 2018 Achievement of the Year Award. A third-party legal firm communicates a prelimary opinion to the Porter County Commissioners that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office’s lease of space at 15 N. Franklin St. has been void since 1999. Shirley Heinze Land Trust is honored by the Land Trust Alliance with its National Excellence Award.

Shelby Bullock, Bailey Ranta, and Kara Krol lead the CHS girls cross country team to a third-place finish at IHSAA New Prairie Semistate and a berth in the state finals; while CHS boys cross country runner Nathan O’Connor finishes 12th at New Prairie Semistate to advance to the state finals. CHS boys soccer team beats Fort Wayne Carroll 3-1 in penalty kicks to win the 3A Kokomo Semistate title.

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder pleads guilty in federal court to a single misdemeanor count of failure to supply information to the IRS. Chesterton Town Council approves 2019 advertised budget which includes a “projected structural deficit” of $269,261.46; Clerk-Treasurer Stephanie Kuziela believes cash on hand at year’s end 2018 will be sufficent to make good on the deficit but advised the council against deficit-spending going forward.

Volunteers help Eagle Scout candidate Blaine Reyes to complete his project: bat houses erected on the grounds of the Discovery Charter School and the Westchester Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Investors file a class-action lawsuit against U.S. Steel Corporation, alleging that certain USS executive officers violated the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 by making “materially false and misleading statements,” in “press releases, analyst conference calls, and SEC filings.”

CHS science teacher Brian Hennigar and 80 of his students present a hands-on program entitled “Science InFusion” to 400 Duneland kindergarten students in the CHS courtyard. CHS boys soccer team wins its first state title, after junior Robbie Capehart heads in a corner kick from senior Bailey Arthur with 27.4 seconds left in double overtime, beating Zionsville. CHS girls cross country team takes 10th place in the state finals, led by Bailey Ranta’s 16th-place finish.

CHS football team loses to Valparaiso 55-7 in the opener of the IHSAA Class 6A Sectional. An “error” at the Portage early-voting site is discovered; the Clerk’s Office and Voter Registration attempt to contact those who cast ballots between 8:30 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27.

Porter County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals votes 2-1 to seek back taxes from an improper tax exemption benefiting the owner of the building at 15 N. Franklin St. in Valparaiso, where the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office leases space. Porter County Chapter of the Izaak Walton League celebrates 60 years of protecting the Indiana Dunes. Chesterton resident Dawn Ivanyo spins and wins $47,300 in cash and prizes on Wheel of Fortune.

November

NiSource Inc. reports that the Sept. 13 natural-gas pipeline disaster in Greater Lawrence, Mass.-- caused by over-pressurization in the distribution lines of its subsidiary, Columbia Gas of Massachusetts--in which one person was killed and dozens of homes destroyed, has hit its bottom line, with a net loss in the third quarter of $345.1 million or 95 cents per share; the company’s quarterly results include $461.9 million in expenses associated with the disaster, which it expects to recover through insurance.

Meanwhile, NIPSCO proposes an electric rate hike to support the transition into renewable energy, following the scheduled de-commissioning of its coal-fired generation plants; under the proposed hike, residential customers would pay approximately $11 more per month, or 12 percent. Porter County Election Board splits over motion to correct an error at the Portage early-voting center. ArcelorMittal posts a net income in the third quarter of $899 million or 89 cents per basic share, compared to $1.205 billion or $1.18 in the year-ago.

CHS freshman Evan Snowdin wins the No. 1 Plate as champion in the 85 Senior Class motorcycle race series at the Great Lakes Dual State Championship. U.S. Steel posts a net income in the third quarter of $291 million or $1.62 per diluted share, compared to $147 million or 83 cents in the year-ago. Democrat Director of Porter County Voter Registration Kathy Kozuszek files a complaint with Valparaiso Police alleging that a signature on her office’s 2018 budget, purportedly hers, was actually placed on the document by Republican Co-Director Sundae Schoon.

National Park Service temporarily closes access to the beach at the Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk site, after recent storm waves wash away portions of a sand dune and the only designated trail to the beach. CHS girls basketball team beats Highland 32-31 to win its season opener, after Marney Sisson hits a pair of free throws with 0:08 left on the clock. United Steelworkers reaches a tentative agreement with ArcelorMittal.

Porter County Commissioner Jim Biggs, R-North, on Election Day snafus: “Total, absolute breakdown”; Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford orders 12 polling places which failed to open at 6 a.m. to remain open past 6 p.m.; anecdotal reports filter in to the Chesterton Tribune of inadquately staffed polling places and inadequately trained poll workers; up to 15,000 absentee and early ballots which were supposed to have been delivered to their respective polling places before they closed are not; no one knows when the election results will be posted; Biggs confirms that he and Commissioner Laura Blaney, D-South, have asked the FBI to investigate such issues as chain of custody, incorrectly advertised polling locations, insecure ballots, and any suggestion of the deliberate sabotage of the process; the big loser: Porter County Clerk of Courts Karen Martin, whose office was tasked with the administration of the election.

Winners, following the posting of results on Friday, Nov. 10, nearly 72 hours after the polls closed on Tuesday, Nov. 6: Democrat Gary Germann, unseating incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel; Democrat Bob Poparad, unseating incumbent Porter County Council President Andy Bozak, R-1st, by 15 votes; Democrat incumbent Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik, easily fending off a challenge from Clerk of Courts Karen Martin; Porter County Commissioner Jeff Good, R-North; Democrat Jessica Bailey in race for open Clerk seat; Republican Cyndi Dykes in race for open Coroner seat; Republican Chuck Harris in race for open Recorder seat; incumbent Ronald Stone in race for Liberty Township seat on the Duneland School Board and Alayna Lightfoot Pol in race for open at-large seat; and Republican Tammy Watkins, unseating incumbent Pine Township Trustee Andrew Himan Jr.

In the aftermath, the Porter County Commissioners demand Karen Martinson’s resignation from the Office of Clerk of Courts, after calling on the Election Board to request “any and all investigations that are available through the Indiana Secretary of State Election Division and the Indiana State Police”; the Valparaiso Democratic Committee similarly demands an investigation.

CHS girls swim team beats Highland 154-31 to win its season opener. Porter Town Council authorizes Fire Chief Jay Craig to go out for bids on a new fire engine. United Steelworkers ratifies a new four-year contract with U.S. Steel. A ribbon-cutting is held for the new boxcar restroom and caboose comfort station in Thomas Centennial Park. CHS speech team hosts its annual Skeffington Memorial Speech Invitational, featuring 10 different schools and 250 entries. CHS senior Shelby Bullock signs her National Letter of Intent to run cross country and track at Purdue University.

Town of Burns Harbor is awarded a $1 million Community Crossings state infrastructure grant for road paving. CPD Probationary Officer Adam Alicea is sworn in. The annual Hometown Holiday Celebration is held in Downtown Chesterton. Chesterton BZA grants two variances to Chesterton BZA President Rich Riley, pertaining to a garage he wants to build on his property at 218 Grant Ave. Seven of nine Duneland schools receive A or B grades from the Indiana Department of Education.

CHS boys basketball team beats Gary 21st Century 60-50 to win its season opener. CHS senior soccer player Jack Eaton is named Indiana Mr. Soccer (Player of the Year) by the Indiana Soccer Coaches Association, the second time in three years a CHS boys soccer player earns that honor (Owen Hallas in 2016). CHS girls basketball team improves to 6-0 on the season after winning its DAC opener against Lake Central 47-43.

CHS boys swim team beats Northridge 131-52 to win its season opener, while CHS girls swim team edges Northridge 94-92. CHS wrestlers open their season by winning the team title at the Ted DeRousse Invitational in Antioch, Ill., with Danny Tolin finishing 9-0 to win the 120 title. More than 25,000 NIPSCO customers lose power--including, for a few hours on deadline, the Chesterton Tribune--after high winds and wet snow down power lines throughout the company’s service territory.

Porter County Council agrees to pay poll workers double the normal rates, following the breakdown of the election process on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Chesterton Town Council seeks a meeting with representatives of Porter County Animal Control and the Commissioners to discuss Animal Control’s proposed three-year contract with the town. CHS senior Danny Tolin signs his National Letter of Intent to wrestle at Indiana University.

Democrat Director of Porter County Voter Registration Kathy Kozuszek files a complaint in federal court alleging that Porter County violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not compensating her for overtime. United Steelworkers ratifies a new four-year contract with ArcelorMittal. Sigmund Niepokoj, a former member of the Chesterton Town Board, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Advisory Plan Commission, dies at 85.

December

CHS boys swim team takes the overall title at the Hall of Fame Classic in Franklin, with five first-place finishes, while the girls team also wins the title, with two first-place finishes. CHS Music Department holds the 46th annual Madrigal Dinners, with Lord of the House Benjamin Larimer and Lady of the House Agia Amezcua-Bone. Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission approves the primary plat for a double-hotel project at Coffee Creek Center, immediately north of the Culver’s restaurant, for an 87-room Fairfield Inn & Suites and a 90-room Holiday Inn Express.

Ray Carnes, one of the three Wise Men who frequented meetings of the Chesterton Town Council--along with Leonard Sullivan and the late Bob Glinstra--and who was a tireless advocate of public safety issues, dies at 98. Duneland School Board thanks retiring Member Mike Trout for his 28 years of service, while it introduces its newest School Resource Officer, CPD Lt. Joe Christian. Chesterton Park Board invites the public to apply for the newly created position of Assistant Superintendent.

Duneland Schools Superindent Ginger Bolinger notifies the School Board of her immediate retirement for health and family reasons. Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk beach and the Ogden Dunes public beach are closed after a “frothy” or “sudsy” substance is observed being discharged into Burns Waterway from two outfall pipes on U.S. Steel property in Portage; the beaches are opened some days later when testing shows no unusually high levels in the water of any dangerous substance.

Skeletal remains found in September near Porter Regional Hospital are identified as those of Tammy R. Brewer, 42, of Portage, who in July had discharged herself from the hospital against physicians’ advice; Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris says that the manner of death appears to have been natural. Indiana Supreme Court refuses to revisit the Sept. 7 Indiana Appeals Court decision which found inadmissable all self-incriminating statements made by accused murderer Christopher Dillard during his interview with CPD Chief Dave Cincoski, in connection with the slaying in April 2017 of Upper Deck bartender Nicole Gland.

Porter Police report a rash of vehicle entries throughout town. Patrons attending a series of Taproom 219 pop-up beer gardens donate $800 to a number of local organizations, including Duneland Family YMCA and Rebuilding Together Duneland. CHS junior soccer player Seth Conway is named All-State All-American.

CHS boys swim team is first and girls team second at the Homestead Invitational. CHS girls basketball team loses to Portage in overtime 56-50. CHS wrestlers finish third at the Zionsville Invitational. CHS graduate Elizabeth Canright is voted Rookie of the Year by her teammates on the Wittenberg University women’s cross country team.

An unnamed Chesterton Middle School teacher resigns amid unspecified allegations involving a student which are the subject of a criminal investigation. Chesterton Town Council enters into a three-year contract with Porter County Animal Control, two weeks after members publicly wondered why residents weren’t in fact being double-billed for the service, first through their property taxes and second through the $27,347 annual fee.

William Stone, developer of the Stone Meadows subdivision, speaks against plans for 59 acres up for annexation located immediately west of the subdivision along 1100N. CHS grad and Olympic Gold Medalist Blake Pieroni travels to China to compete in the 2018 FINA Short Course World Swimming Championship--after signing his first professional endorsement contract with Mizuno USA--and wins the 200 Free world title.

Porter County Commissioners retain legal counsel to enter into a federal multi-district lawsuit against manufacturers and distributors of opioids. Scott Pelath is named executive director of the Kankakee River Basin Commission. CHS girls swim team beats Valparaiso 135-51, while the boys team beats Valpo 146-39.

Porter County Commissioners announce that Indiana Secretary of State’s Election Division, in coordination with the Indiana State Police and the Indiana State Board of Accounts, is investigating the general election breakdown on Nov. 6. Burns Harbor Town Council approves $1,000 across-the-board raises for all full-time municipal employees. Oak Lawn, Ill., pilot Azam J. Zayed fatally crashes his Piper Comanche single-engine airplane at Porter County Regional Airport.

New Children’s Department manager at Westchester Public Library is Jessica Bartz. Porter County Commissioners and and Prosecuting Attorney Brian Gensel are notified of a pending lawsuit filed by 15 Franklin LLC seeking more than $526,000 in payments for remaining lease payments through Dec. 31, 2024, for space formerly rented by the Child Support Division.

CHS gymastics team opens season with a victory at the LaPorte Pairs Invitational. CHS girls basketball team falls to Valparaiso 51-42. Two Chicago Police officers in search of a suspect are hit and killed by an eastbound South Shore commuter train north of Kensington. Former PCSP deputy Larry LaFlower is sentenced to 15 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, in connection with his embezzlement of funds from Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 165 to cover gambling debts.

Duneland School Board names Judith Malasto, director of secondary learning and performance, interim superintendent, following the sudden retirement of Ginger Bolinger. Porter County Safety Director Mike Brickner resigns. The 2018 state champion CHS boys soccer team is honored by MaxPreps at its 14th annual Tour of Champions; the team is ranked 43rd in the country by MaxPreps. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, introduces a bill which would legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

No. 5 CHS boys basketball team stays undefeated by beating Bishop Noll 71-61. Porter County Council prepares to review, in the New Year, 2019 allocations for Voter Registration. CHS debate team finishes the year with a win at West Lafayette. At a public hearing called by the Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission, residents of the Westchester South subdivision--plus others on Richter Street--remonstrate vociferously against a planned unit development of 62 duplexes which John Nekus wants to build on 11.28 acres located behind the Chesterton Post Office.

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor objects to Indiana American Water Company’s proposed rate hike, which would generate $38.8 million in additional annual revenues; the OUCC instead recommends a rate decrease which would shave the company of $16.9 million in revenues. Chesterton Town Council votes unanimously to table, pending further notice, the annexation of 59 acres along 1100N, when residents of Stone Meadows and other neighboring subdivisions object to the property owner’s plan to develop duplexes, triplexes, and a pair of commercial buildings on the site.

 

Posted 12/31/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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