Chili cook-off to raise money for kids battling cancer

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September 29, 2014 – Times Staff The third annual chili cook-off tailgate party to benefit the Joseph Betustak Jr. Memorial Foundation Inc. is Sunday at Hammond FOP Lodge 51, 7527 Kennedy Ave. The event begins at 11 a.m. and features about 17 different chili recipes. During the cook-off, the game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers will be …

City passes new water rate class and collection of stormwater fees

admin City Council, News, Sanitary District

September 28, 2014 – Rob Earnshaw The City Council has adopted two water-related ordinances. The council voted 9-0 recently on an addition of a new class of water rate for commercial properties in the city. Because there is only a residential and industrial water rate class, commercial properties were paying the same $1.55 per thousand gallons as residents. Beginning Wednesday, …

HistoryMakers visit region to inspire youth

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September 26, 2014 – Carmen McCollum Robert Blackwell Sr. remembers a time as a youngster growing up in Philadelphia when businessmen did not look like him. The 77-year-old entrepreneur spoke to dozens of juniors and seniors at Hammond High School and told them his parents worked hard to raise him and his four brothers. Blackwell remembers a time when he …

Mayor McDermott comments on proposed South Shore Rail expansion plan

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It is widely known that Congressman Visclosky has made a $600 million expansion of the South Shore rail line to two towns south of Hammond his priority. As part of his mission, municipal governments across NWI, that are nowhere near the expansion or have more to lose than gain from this project, have been asked to “voluntarily” approve an inter-local …

Enrollment & retention up at Purdue University Calumet

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September 24, 2014 – Cheryl Lutgen A jump in student retention and more first time, full time freshmen are driving an enrollment increase at Purdue University Calumet this fall. Overall enrollment of 9,501 represents a 1 percent jump from last fall’s 9,422 total. Likewise, the 97,625 hours in which students are enrolled represent a 2.3 percent gain from a year …

Gavit sails into uncharted territory in achieving high AP scores

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September 22, 2014 – Michelle Ondas Gavit High School has set an all school record in Advance Placement. In the 2012-13 school year, Gavit had 26 qualifying scores. This past school year 2013-14, Gavit increased the number of students in the program by 50% and increased the number of qualifying scores 150% by having 65 qualifying scores. “I am honored …

UAW workers in Indiana approve Lear Corp. contract

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September 21, 2014 – Associated Press Workers at a Lear Corp. plant in northwestern Indiana that makes automotive seats approved an agreement Sunday that will end a two-tiered pay system that left some workers earning much less than others. The United Auto Workers said in a statement that members of Local 2335 had “overwhelmingly” backed the four-year contract. It did …

Company takes over Hammond Recycling building

admin Mayor's Office, News

September 20, 2014 – Rob Earnshaw The vacant Hammond Recycling building has been purchased by a company with plans to turn it into a state-of-the-art recycling facility complete with new jobs. JJS Recycling Factory officials say they will develop a significant operation of recycling plastic bottles made of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, and manufacture it for use in the textile …

Changes may come to how city collects stormwater fee

admin News, Sanitary District

September 20, 2014 – Rob Earnshaw The monthly storm-sewer fee may be taken off the water bill for residents and businesses and moved to the tax bill — witCharge might move from water bill to tax billh a big increase — if the Hammond City Council approves an ordinance later this month. The $12 annual fee for households would increase …