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From The Times' archive: A second chance at life

From The Times' archive: A second chance at life

The Times spoke with Paula Cooper in July 2012 as the final year of her sentence began.

June 17, 2013 4:00 pm
From The Times' archive: A life and legacy

From The Times' archive: A life and legacy

The Times spoke with the family of Ruth Pelke in August 2012. Pelke was murdered in 1985, and her family says her legacy of love lives on.

June 17, 2013 3:30 pm
Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Paula Cooper was 16 years old when she was sentenced to death for stabbing an elderly Bible school teacher to death. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is scheduled to be released Monday.

June 16, 2013 2:00 am
County-hired lawyer grilled about advice given to Philpot

County-hired lawyer grilled about advice given to Philpot

HAMMOND | An attorney hired to advise the clerk's office during Lake County Coroner Thomas Philpot's term testified for about three hours Thursday during Philpot's theft and fraud trial.

August 23, 2012 6:30 pm Photos

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Day three of Philpot trial: Attorney advised Philpot OK to take payments

Day three of Philpot trial: Attorney advised Philpot OK to take payments

HAMMOND | Lake County Coroner Thomas Philpot received a letter telling him he did not need County Council approval to receive incentive payments from a child support incentive fund, according to evidence introduced on the third day of his fraud and theft trial.

August 22, 2012 5:24 pm Photos

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Workers' testimony conflicts in Philpot trial

HAMMOND | A state representative and former clerk employee gave conflicting testimony Tuesday as to how controversial incentive payments came to be during the Lake County coroner's tenure as clerk.

August 21, 2012 8:27 pm
Lake County coroner's fraud trial kicks off in federal court

Lake County coroner's fraud trial kicks off in federal court

HAMMOND | The federal corruption trial of Lake County Coroner Thomas Philpot kicked off Monday to determine whether he knew taking incentive payments as an elected official was wrong.

August 20, 2012 8:00 pm Photos

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A life and legacy

A life and legacy

Ruth Pelke was murdered in 1985, and her family says her legacy of love lives on through today.

August 19, 2012 4:47 am
Pelke's devotion to family, faith resonates decades after murder

Pelke's devotion to family, faith resonates decades after murder

Ruth Pelke's family has fond memories of holidays in her Gary home, complete with crocheted gifts, colored cookies and "Nana salad," Pelke's macaroni salad mixed with watermelon pickles.

August 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Gary officer was recorded committing offenses

HAMMOND | A Gary police officer arrested Tuesday on drug trafficking and firearms charges was recorded committing the offenses, according to a criminal complaint.

August 15, 2012 9:00 pm

Source: Search of surveyor's office related to suspicion of campaigning on county time

HAMMOND | A federal investigation into Lake County Surveyor George Van Til involves whether he engaged in campaigning activities while on the county clock, The Times has learned.

August 15, 2012 9:00 pm
Staggering rape numbers for Indiana, youths

Staggering rape numbers for Indiana, youths

About one in five Hoosier women have been victims of rape at some point in their lifetime, according to recent shocking statistics from the Centers for Disease Control.

August 12, 2012 12:00 am

Young Chicago mother changes plea to guilty for aiding and abetting murder for Latin Kings

HAMMOND | A young Chicago mother changed her plea to guilty Wednesday for aiding and abetting a murder for the Latin Kings.

August 08, 2012 6:00 pm

Valpo man, a former priest, gets 10 years for child enticement

HAMMOND | A 71-year-old Valparaiso man and former priest was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for trying to seduce a 15-year-old boy.

August 07, 2012 5:30 pm

Illinois man, 37, enters into plea deal for heroin distribution

HAMMOND | A University Park, Ill., man entered into a plea agreement for conspiring to possess with the intent to distribute more than one kilogram of heroin.

August 07, 2012 12:00 am

Second ex-Chicago cop changes plea to guilty in gang racketeering case

HAMMOND | A former Chicago police officer admitted to committing armed robberies in Illinois, Hammond and East Chicago for the Latin Kings street gang at a federal hearing Thursday morning.

August 02, 2012 5:32 pm

Gary man, 18, enters plea deal in convenience store robbery

HAMMOND | An 18-year-old Gary man entered into a plea agreement Monday for robbing a Gary gas station and convenience store.

July 31, 2012 12:00 am

Man sentenced to more than 12 years for role in heroin ring

HAMMOND | A heroin addict who drove from Chicago a few times a week to transport the drug to Indiana was sentenced Monday afternoon to 151 months in prison.

July 31, 2012 12:00 am
Gary urban garden growing despite drought

Gary urban garden growing despite drought

GARY | Despite soaring temperatures, a Gary urban farm is holding its own against the heat.

July 28, 2012 8:45 pm Photos

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Gary urban garden growing despite drought

Gary urban garden growing despite drought

About 15 volunteers helped clear land and harvest vegetables Saturday morning at the Stewart House Urban Farms and Gardens in Gary.

July 28, 2012 1:07 pm
Gary urban garden growing despite drought

Gary urban garden growing despite drought

Raised beds at Stewart House Urban Farm and Gardens help conserve water, Project Manager Sandra Rodriguez said.

July 28, 2012 1:01 pm
Gary urban garden growing despite drought

Gary urban garden growing despite drought

John Szot, 57, of Merrillville, helps clear a plot Saturday morning at the Stewart House Urban Farm and Gardens in Gary. Volunteers already have harvested produce from the site's raised beds twice this year.

July 28, 2012 12:47 pm

Gary woman pleads guilty to stealing $55K in Social Security benefits from kids

HAMMOND | A Gary woman accused of taking more than $50,000 in Social Security survivor benefits from children whose mother died plans to change her plea to guilty, according to court filings released Thursday.

July 26, 2012 2:15 pm

Ex-Chicago cop to plead guilty to racketeering in Latin King case

HAMMOND | A former Chicago police officer has joined the majority ranks of those who signed plea agreements in the widespread Latin Kings racketeering case, according to court filings released Thursday.

July 26, 2012 11:15 am

Three Latin Kings enter into plea agreements

HAMMOND | Three more Latin King gang members entered into plea agreements with the government, leaving just a handful of defendants remaining for trial.

July 25, 2012 6:30 pm
Defendant representing self in kidnapping trial calls victim to testify

Defendant representing self in kidnapping trial calls victim to testify

HAMMOND | In a rare set of circumstances, the defendant in a kidnapping case asked his alleged victim questions under direct examination during his federal trial.

July 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Witness 'can't remember' kidnapping

HAMMOND | Kicking off a kidnapping trial Monday, a 21-year-old Missouri woman claimed to not remember sprinting naked into a Portage liquor store to escape her father.

July 16, 2012 8:51 pm
Two more alleged Latin King members plead guilty to racketeering

Two more alleged Latin King members plead guilty to racketeering

HAMMOND | More than half the defendants named in the sweeping Latin Kings racketeering indictments have entered into plea deals with the government, and more are expected in the coming week, according to court filings made Monday.

July 16, 2012 7:15 pm
A second chance at life

A second chance at life

Paula Cooper was sentenced to death for the murder of an elderly Bible school teacher in the 1980s. The state Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years in prison, and now she shares her story and hopes for the future with The Times as the final year of her sentence winds down.

July 15, 2012 12:00 pm
Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

ROCKVILLE, Ind. | Paula Cooper mixed no-bake cookies, creating balls of sweet coconut and baking cocoa the size of a fist.

July 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper was 15 years old when she was sentenced to death for stabbing an elderly Bible school teacher to death. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is now counting down the days to her 2013 release.

July 13, 2012 11:46 pm
Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Ind. woman sentenced to die at 16 to be released

Paula Cooper was 16 years old when she was sentenced to death for the brutal stabbing murder of an elderly Bible school teacher. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is scheduled to be released Monday.

July 13, 2012 11:39 pm
Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper: Convicted of murder at 15, a Gary woman prepares for her 2013 release

Paula Cooper was 15 years old when she was sentenced to death for the brutal stabbing murder of an elderly Bible school teacher. The Indiana Supreme Court commuted her sentence to 60 years, and she is now counting down the days to her 2013 release.

July 13, 2012 11:39 pm

U.S. attorney stresses federal, state and local cooperation

GARY | U.S. Attorney David Capp, an alumnus of Gary's Lew Wallace High School, returned to the city Monday afternoon to speak at a Chamber of Commerce meeting about cooperative crime-fighting efforts in the region.

July 09, 2012 5:00 pm

Notre Dame contraception lawsuit to be heard in Hammond court

HAMMOND | The national debate over religious freedom and health care reform will play out locally in a Hammond federal court case filed by the University of Notre Dame.

July 02, 2012 9:00 pm

Four indicted in alleged $9.1 million mortgage fraud scheme

CHICAGO| A Glenwood woman was one of four indicted in an alleged $9.1 million mortgage fraud scheme involving at least 42 properties, according to statement issued Monday by the U.S. attorney's office.

July 02, 2012 8:30 pm

Weinberger plea deal in the works

HAMMOND| Merrillville's infamous ear, nose and throat doctor could be close to a second plea deal in his federal health care fraud case, according to court records filed Monday.

July 02, 2012 8:11 pm

Judge grants motion to dismiss suit against Gary library board

HAMMOND | A federal judge dismissed a civil lawsuit Gary residents had filed against the city's library board of trustees to prevent the main library from being turned into a museum, according to court documents filed Wednesday. 

June 27, 2012 8:15 pm

Man gets probation, home detention for decade of environmental violations in Michigan City

HAMMOND | The former superintendent of Michigan City's wastewater treatment plant narrowly avoided a prison sentence Wednesday after violating the Clean Water Act for almost a decade.

June 20, 2012 7:00 pm

Gary man agrees to plea deal on day of attempted robbery trial

HAMMOND | The federal trial of a Gary man accused of conspiring to rob a drug house was scheduled to start Monday, but at the last minute the man decided to enter into a plea agreement.

June 18, 2012 6:45 pm

Hammond man gets 12 years in bogus drug dealer robbery

HAMMOND | A Hammond man who helped plot an armed robbery of what the group thought was a drug house was sentenced Wednesday to 12 years in prison.

June 13, 2012 8:43 pm

Law enforcement searches Michigan City-area gun shop

MICHIGAN CITY | Federal, state and local law enforcement executed a search warrant on a Michigan City-area gun shop and the owner's home over a span of about six hours Tuesday afternoon.

June 12, 2012 8:00 pm

Burns Harbor company alleges trademark infringement

HAMMOND| A Burns Harbor company that designs, creates and sells construction products is suing a New York-based company in federal court alleging trademark infringement.

June 05, 2012 9:00 am

Judge denies government's motion to dismiss wrongful death suit

HAMMOND | A federal judge denied the government's motion to dismiss the wrongful death suit of an alleged Latin Dragon gang member whom an officer shot and killed during an attempted arrest in 2007.

June 04, 2012 6:45 pm

Two Hammond men convicted again of murdering, robbing gun shop owner in 2000

HAMMOND | After several hours of deliberations Tuesday, a jury found two Hammond men guilty of murdering an elderly gun shop owner and stealing his firearms in a case that has spanned 12 years and more than one trial.

May 29, 2012 9:25 pm
Law enforcement execute search warrant at gunman's home

Law enforcement execute search warrant at gunman's home

The Times' Sarah Tompkins gives you a front-row seat to law enforcement executing a search warrant at Valparaiso gunman Roy Ferguson's property Friday.

May 26, 2012 12:00 am
Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

Officers enter the rental house owned by Roy L. Ferguson on Grove Avenue in Valparaiso following Friday's standoff at an office building on Calumet Avenue.

May 25, 2012 9:59 pm
Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

Police search a Grove Avenue home in Valparaiso owned by Roy L. Ferguson, the gunman who held several people hostage Friday at a real estate office.

May 25, 2012 7:08 pm
Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

Valpo residents surprised by neighbor's involvement in standoff

VALPARAISO | Law enforcement searched a rental house owned by a gunman who held police at bay for seven hours Friday.

May 25, 2012 5:21 pm Photos

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Woman changes plea to guilty in Gary day care fraud

HAMMOND | Gary's Little Angels Daycare II seems to have tarnished its halo in a wire fraud scheme that siphoned at least $120,000 from government aid programs.

May 16, 2012 8:11 pm
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