Joyce Russell and Steve Garrison
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP — The search for two missing children that involved more than 100 law enforcement officers, as well as helicopters, drones and K-9 units, ended late Monday afternoon after the children were safely located near Victory Christian Academy.
The children, Samuel Orshonsky, 9, and his sister, Charley Orshonsky, 7, approached a citizen at 4:27 p.m. walking the perimeter of the school's north campus at county roads 360 North and 325 East, according to the Porter County Sheriff's Department.
The children told officers they had been hiding in a pine tree near the school, and hid their bags under some leaves, the release states.
The discovery ended a massive search effort involving almost a dozen government agencies that organized after the children were reported missing from their home in the area of Streamwood Drive and County Road 325 East.
The siblings, who were last seen at midnight Sunday at the home, were not habitual runaways, but the 9-year-old son had a spat with family members Sunday night and threatened to run away, according to sheriff's department Sgt. Jamie Erow.
Involved in the search were the Washington Township Fire Department, Porter County Search and Rescue and its K-9 unit, Valparaiso Police Department heat sensor and drone equipment, the FBI, Indiana Conservation Department, Indiana State Police and its K-9 unit, Hobart Police Department, Lake County Sheriff's Department helicopter and Porter County Sheriff's Department drone unit.
The sheriff's department expressed gratitude in the press release to area residents, who shared news of the children's disappearance on social media and sent food and water to the Washington Township Fire Department.
"We are pleased with a happy outcome, and everyone goes home safe," Erow said.
LAKE STATION — Police said Monday that many people have come forward as they continue to investigate an attack Friday that left a 14-year-old hospitalized with severe injuries.
Lake Station Police Chief David Johnson has said he hoped charges could be filed soon in connection with the attack Friday at Edison Junior-Senior High School.
A cellphone video widely circulated on the internet showed two teens punching and kicking other teens.
Johnson told The Times on Sunday that police were working to sort out details of what happened.
"There is a lot of hearsay in this case and officers are trying to get to the facts. Once we have all the statements and possible videos related to this incident then we can present the evidence as we find it," Johnson said.
Tarra Maksimik, who organized a GoFundMe campaign for the injured 14-year-old, told The Times on Sunday that the boy's condition had improved slightly, but he still had a long road to recovery.
LAPORTE — A Michigan City physician who said he was accused publicly of contributing to opioid addiction has won $20,000 and a public apology.
Dr. Vidya Kora was paid $20,000 in a settlement reached with Coolspring Township resident Dennis Metheny, who ran against Kora unsuccessfully last year for LaPorte County commissioner.
Metheny also issued a public apology during Monday night’s LaPorte County Council meeting in word for word statements read directly from the settlement.
"I wanted to address these matters today before you to clear the air and apologize for any harm this has caused Dr. Kora," Metheny said.
At the LaPorte County Council's March 27 meeting, Metheny did not directly allege Kora was overprescribing painkillers to his patients.
It was implied, though, by statements Metheny framed as questions during the public comment portion of the meeting, Kora alleged in his LaPorte Circuit Court defamation lawsuit filed a month later.
At the March meeting, Metheny asked council members, "What would you say if I had two people who contacted me in regards to prescriptions that came from Dr. Kora that overprescribed opioids and I had their names. They personally contacted me. What would you say to that?'
He went on to ask if any local officials had contacted the FBI or anyone else in authority "to check on doctors that are overprescribing opioids."
While continuing to read from the settlement last week, Metheny said he never meant to imply wrongdoing on the doctor’s part.
"During my comments, I also mentioned Dr. Vidya Kora by name, though my intentions were not to suggest he was overprescribing opioids to patients or engaging in professional misconduct as a physician. I have no reasonable basis to think otherwise."
In his lawsuit, Kora said he refers patients with chronic pain who may require narcotic pain medications for the management of chronic pain to various pain clinics that may or may not treat the patients with opioids.
Kora also alleged in his legal action that Metheny knew his statements were false and defamatory and phrased them as questions to try and protect himself from liability.
Under Indiana law, though, words creating a false implication or impression are defamatory, according to the lawsuit.
Kora declined comment on the settlement.
Metheny, well known as an outspoken political watchdog, also agreed in the settlement any future comments he makes "in this forum will be conducted with civility."